Engineers and project managers at the state, county, city, and consultant level have noticed that there is some confusion statewide regarding the operation and benefits of roundabouts. In some cases, this confusion, along with misinformation, has led to “roundabout myths” that are prevalent in many public roundabout discussions, publications, and presentations. This trend was also noticed by the board members of the Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB), who realized that this statewide roundabout confusion could be an opportunity for an educational video that would benefit not only the general public, but also local agencies who encounter these roundabout myths on a regular basis. For this project, they selected Stonebrooke Engineering to assist with roundabout myth research, video production, and animated visualizations.
A project workshop was held at MnDOT Central Office to create a comprehensive list of the modern roundabout myths that would be evaluated for inclusion in this project. After identifying the 10 roundabout myths that would be featured in the video, the next step was to perform research and data gathering. This was accomplished through an analysis of existing roundabout materials and also through interviews with roundabout technical experts. These interviews were filmed, along with on-the-street interviews with members of the general public to gain their perspective on roundabouts and to confirm the existence of certain roundabout myths. Our production crew also filmed general traffic operations at several local roundabouts.
During the post production process, Stonebrooke staff identified areas of the video that would benefit from animated visualizations in order to better communicate the ideas. Stonebrooke’s in-house graphics department created these animations and incorporated them into the final video.
The final Roundabout Myths video was approximately 15 minutes in length. While this comprehensive video is useful for agency web sites, training seminars, and public open house meetings, Stonebrooke proposed that a second version of the video be created that only included the top 3 myths. This shorter 6 minute video would be more appropriate for social media sharing. MnDOT reached out to members of the City Engineers Association of Minnesota (CEAM) and Minnesota County Engineers Association (MCEA) and provided them with links to the videos for their own use.