Construction of the roundabout at the intersection of Frankford Avenue, Trenton Avenue, and York Street is now complete and open to traffic. The intersection was identified for a roundabout project given the large size and complexity of the former signalized intersection. Selection criteria included a number of factors: traffic operations, crash history and risk, intersection geometry, anticipated safety benefits, future maintenance cost, and available right-of-way.

Intersection improvements include:

  • Roadway and roundabout enhanced LED lighting
  • Speed cushions to slow motorists on approach of the roundabout on York Street
  • New signage and pavement markings
  • Enhanced accommodations for trucks and buses approaching the intersection
  • Grass mountable central island and greened corners
  • Entry points designed to slow vehicles

Benefits of roundabouts

Roundabouts have a proven safety benefit over signalized intersections with lower vehicle speeds, less delay, less conflict points, and a reduction in air pollution due to less idling time. When compared to traditional signalized or stop-controlled intersections, roundabouts have been shown to significantly reduce severe and fatal crashes with a 100% reduction in fatalities found in Pennsylvania for signalized intersections converted to roundabouts.

How does the Frankford Trenton York Roundabout work for our community?

A roundabout operates differently than a typical signalized intersection. It may take some time to get used to navigating through, whether you are a pedestrian, cyclist, or motorist. But just like with all intersections – you need to make safe choices. For all vehicles and bikes, the traffic flows counterclockwise in a roundabout and traffic already in the circle part of the roundabout, has the right-of-way. If an emergency vehicle is coming, pull over before you get to the roundabout. If you are already in the circle part of the roundabout, drive through the roundabout and then pull over.

Making safe choices:

  • Pedestrians should: use the crosswalks, wait for an opening in traffic, then cross in stages.
  • Motorists should: slow down on approach to roundabout and watch for pedestrians and bicycles, yield by looking to the left to any traffic including bikes already in the roundabout, and then be prepared to yield to people walking in the crosswalk as you exit the roundabout. Trucks and buses should also follow these guidelines and use truck aprons as needed.
  • Bicyclists should: in the case of the Frankford Trenton York roundabout, take the lane with motor vehicle traffic and ride in a counter-clockwise direction following driving rules of the road.

The project supports the City’s Vision Zero goals, namely to reduce traffic fatalities to zero.  When compared to a signalized intersection, roundabouts have been shown by PennDOT1 to reduce traffic crash risk, with total crashes decreasing by 21% and fatal crashes decreasing by 100%. The Streets Department project was designed by engineering firm McCormick Taylor Inc. and constructed by JPC Group Inc. [Photo by Justin Batchelor]

General information from PennDOT on Roundabouts
Brochure describing single-lane travel in roundabouts
How to navigate roundabouts for pedestrians and bicyclists
Federal Highway Association Roundabouts information