Roundabout Survey, August 2001

Residents in Olathe were interviewed by telephone during late July to obtain their opinions about the roundabouts located on 143rd/Sheridan. The sample of 365 persons consisted of two groups of persons.

  • Area Sample: One sample consisted of 218 persons who lived in the area defined by Kansas on the west, eastern boundary of Olathe on the east, Santa Fe on the north and 151st on the south (93% lived east of I-35 and 7% lived west of I-35)
  • City Sample: The second sample of 147 persons lived throughout the City of Olathe. (52% lived east of I-35 and 48% lived west of I-35)

The results have 95% confidence with a precision of +/- 6% overall. The results for both the Area Sample and the City Sample were similar. The two primary differences are summarized below:

Persons in the Area Sample were somewhat more likely to feel that their travel time along 143rd/Sheridan had decreased (40% for Area Sample versus 29% for City Sample).

They were also more supportive for the City to consider roundabouts as a reasonable option for traffic control in other areas of the City (46% yes in the Area Sample and 31% yes in the City Sample). About one-fourth of each sample was not sure (23% Area Sample and 25% City Sample).

Persons in the Area Sample who use the roundabouts daily or several times a week gave the most positive ratings.
More than two-thirds (72%) are either very satisfied (42%) or somewhat satisfied (30%) with the roundabouts. More than half (53%) think that their travel time has decreased and 70% think that driving through the area is either safer or as safe as before. More than half (55%) think the City should use roundabouts as a reasonable option for traffic control in contrast to 26% who responded "no"; the other 18% were not sure.

Roundabouts are used by almost half (48%) of the respondents either daily or several times each week
A majority of residents in both samples are using the roundabouts. Twenty percent (20%) are using them daily and another 28% are using them several times a week. One-third (36%) are using them several times a month and 5% have tried them and quit. The remaining 11% have not used them.

Reasons for quitting varied. One person changed jobs and goes a different route. Other reasons included the following: people don't know how to use them, people go too fast, too confusing, afraid of getting hit.

Roundabouts are used throughout the day
The usage for all respondents was: 18% before 8 a.m., 35% from 8a.m. to noon, 20% from noon to 1 p.m., 39% from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., 34% from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 27% after 6 p.m.

Travel time has decreased or remained the same through the area along 143rd/Sheridan
About two-thirds (66%) think that travel time throughout the area along 143rd/Sheridan has decreased (36%) or remained the same (30%). Nineteen percent (19%) think that travel time has increased and 15% didn't know.

Signage is considered either easy to understand or OK
More than two-thirds (73%) think that the signage is either easy to understand (44%) or OK (29%). Eighteen percent (18%) think the signage is hard to understand and 9% didn't know.

Driving through the area is either safer or as safe as before
Sixty percent (60%) think that driving through the area has become safer because of the roundabouts (25%) or as safe as before (35%). Thirty-one percent (31%) feel that driving is less safe and 8% didn't know.

The primary reasons for feeling that driving was less safe is that drivers found the roundabouts confusing, people don't yield, lack of familiarity, don't look safe, and people don't understand signs.

Primary reasons for feeling that driving was safer or as safe as before included the following: drivers slow down and pay more attention, people are more cautious, speed of drivers is slower, forces people to watch out for other drivers, less potential for an accident, traffic flows better, slows down aggressive drivers.

Overall, residents are satisfied with the roundabouts
More than three-fourths (78%) are either very satisfied (30%), somewhat satisfied (25%) or OK (23%) with the roundabouts. Fourteen percent (14%) are not satisfied and 8% don't know.

Support for roundabouts in other areas of City is mixed
Almost half (46%) of the persons in the Area Sample think the City of Olathe should consider roundabouts as a reasonable option for traffic control in other areas of the City; 31% in the City Sample gave that response. Thirty percent (30%) of the Area Sample and 44% of the City Sample do not think that the City should consider roundabouts in other areas of the City. About one-fourth of each sample were not sure.

Study performed in August 2001, prepared by ETC Institute for the City of Olathe