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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Roundabout redirects, manages Blackjack traffic

    Traffic has been hectic on the Mississippi State University campus, but improvements are being made in order to decrease accidents and access to parking. “One of the main entrances to MSU campus is Blackjack Road. Due to daily backed up traffic, we decided to improve the road system on campus,” Joe Farris, director of University Relations, said.
    Along with the widening of Blackjack Road came a roundabout, a traffic control that is popular in Europe and becoming more common in the United States.
    The roundabout on Blackjack Road is designed to accommodate traffic traveling at about 10 miles per hour. A reinforced apron around the center island is designed to accommodate large trucks, buses or other vehicles that must make wide turns.
    “The roundabout road system eliminates stop signs and red lights, and it makes driving to class safer and faster for students,” Farris said.
    “The circle is designed to slow down-but not necessarily stop-traffic entering the intersection,” Bob Johnston, interim director of the physical plant, said.
    The roundabout is located at the intersection of Blackjack Road and Oktoc Road on the southern side of campus.
    Blackjack Road joins the circle from both the east and from the west, while Oktoc Road veers off to the southeast. Magruder Street, which formerly entered Blackjack from the north at the same intersection, is now closed.
    “When using the roundabout, you need only yield before entering, turn right if there is no vehicle approaching and continue around the roundabout until you find the road on which you want to turn,” Farris said.
    The roundabout system is safe, but there are a few rules to follow to reduce any possible accidents.
    “Once you are in the roundabout, you have the right-of-way over the vehicles that are waiting to enter the roundabout,” Farris said. “Always remember to turn right when you are entering the roundabout and always yield before you enter to watch for oncoming traffic.”
    For drivers who have limited or no experience traversing the new intersection, Johnston offered these tips:
    *A vehicle already in the roundabout has the right-of-way over approaching vehicles.
    *Vehicles approaching from any direction must yield to traffic already in the roundabout.
    *Even if the desired exit street is to the left, drivers must always turn right when entering the roundabout, then follow the roadway around the center island until the desired exit point is reached.
    *Under no circumstances should a driver attempt a left turn into the roundabout.
    “The roundabout is an asset to MSU because traffic is not backed up on Blackjack Road the way it was last year,” junior Wesley Strickland aid.
    There are a lot of students who use this frequently, and they say they have positive feelings toward the new road system.
    “I drive through the roundabout every morning on my way to school. This system makes driving easier for the people that know how to use it because it keeps the traffic moving at a steady pace,” senior Olivia Rutledge said.

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    Roundabout redirects, manages Blackjack traffic