For more than 10 years, Shive-Hattery has been conducting public education throughout Iowa on how to properly use a roundabout. One thing that is consistent is that they are all different. We have developed a proven process for sharing information with stakeholders and gaining buy in. Here is the framework to our process and how we would offer to guide the City of Clinton.


The reason every public education program is different is because we are dealing with people. Each community has different stakeholders and levels of knowledge of roundabouts. Justin recently spoke at the 2017 MOVITE conference on "Mini and Modern Roundabouts" and shared that not much has changed in 10 years. Although roundabouts are not new to Iowa, the education on their benefits and ability to solve traffic issues has progressed very slowly. In 2016, in order to gain a better understanding of traffic complications across Iowa, we polled 50 different communities - here were the results.


  • More expensive than other intersection options
  • Cost developers land and money



  • Will take land from small business owners
  • Can’t fit within a typical intersection



  • Bad for truck traffic
  • Difficult and confusing for older population
  • Will not be accepted by residents


In this first phase we take the time to understand what the current status is from the perception to overall knowledge of impacts to installing a roundabout. We learn and then we determine how we will approach the program.


There are many ways to share information and everyone learns differently. We have found that in the education process there needs to be a balance of teaching and listening.


Approach_OpenHouse.gif Public Open Houses - these are not a new idea but this is a great forum share information one-on-one. In this environment we are able to share the benefits of roundabouts through videos, renderings and research.


Renderings - A picture is worth 1,000 words. Through images we are able to show some of the impacts and benefits. Is right-of-way an issue? We can show the footprint and the near final product.


Simulations and Videos - We collect traffic counts and build a simulation to show the current situation and then we are able to update the models with the improvements to show what the operational impacts will be. We use Synchro and the PTV suite to validate through multiple analysis tools. We are able to include pedestrians in our Vissim models to show the impacts pedestrians and cyclists may have to a corridor or intersection. Click here to view a full video example.


Approach_HowToUseVideo.gif Click here to watch a video created as means of educating the residents of Davenport on proper roundabout usage.



Websites - Similar to the microsite we created for this RFQ response, we can build a microsite to show all the information that may be shared at a public meeting. These are also beneficial as they can be linked to the City's website and social media.



On-Site Demonstrations - This can sometimes be a fun learning experience. This gives drivers the opportunity, if they haven't already, to navigate through a roundabout in a closed network. We educate on the best practices, observe and then discuss after the "practice". Here is a fun video of what we called the "gator sized" roundabout. Click here to watch the full video.



With all the tools and information available, the key to the whole process is sharing the message and making connections. We believe that our success of this process is due to understanding the many outcomes that are possible. We have seen first-hand the impact of installing roundabouts from the change in traffic operations to the 180-degree change in public viewpoint.


Since 2013, we have assisted in many Traffic Safety (TSIP) grant applications and have been very successful. Below is a list of effective applications related to roundabout installations since then.

  • City of Mount Vernon (2013) - US Highway 30 - $884,000
  • City of Marion (2014) -  29th Avenue and 35th Street - $164,200
  • City of Cedar Rapids (2015) - Kirkwood Boulevard - $500,000
  • City of Ottumwa (2015) - Ferry Street - $500,000
  • City of Urbandale (2015) - Douglas and 142nd - $500,000
  • City of Muscatine (2017) - Fulium and Houser $167,700