CONWAY, Ark. — Conway, Arkansas: It's a city known for its colleges, the Wampus Cats... and roundabouts-- 31 to be exact.
Kurt Jones is the Director of Transportation for the City of Conway. He gets the question about roundabouts frequently and instead wonders why other cities don't have roundabouts.
"You ask the question why Conway has so many roundabouts. I would answer that question with another question-- why don’t other towns have roundabouts," Jones said.
He said that it all started about 15 years ago with one bad intersection that desperately needed a change.
“Everyone hated it. The city engineer and the mayor said we can’t make it [the intersection] any worse, let’s put a roundabout there,” Jones said.
As for the benefits, he said that roundabouts are not only safer, but they’re also a lot cheaper. So far this year, the city has spent nearly $300,000 on signal maintenance.
"Our maintenance on the roundabout is essentially mowing them. There’s a little bit of landscaping but the cost is significantly less for a roundabout versus a signal," Jones said.
The city currently has 31 roundabouts, and that number very well could increase. The increasing number actually generates excitement from many in the Conway community.
"People get excited when we open up a new roundabout. We had a guy who was actually hovering around waiting on the thing to open up," Jones said. "He wanted to be the first guy through the roundabout, so he could post on social media."
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