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Republican lawmaker doesn't expect roundabout bill to get approved this year

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A state lawmaker does not expect approval this year for his bill to let local communities have the final say on building roundabouts at intersections.

GOP Representative David Craig of Big Bend was happy that his measure got a public hearing Tuesday, with about a month to go in the current session.

Craig told the Assembly Transportation Committee he believes the DOT is overusing roundabouts, and putting them in places where they're not workable.

Modular housing representative Amy Bliss said her company's trucks are too big to use the roundabouts, and it costs more to find detours around them.

State DOT engineer Jerry Zogg testified against letting communities veto roundabouts, saying they've reduced serious accidents.

A study last year showed that roundabouts reduced severe crashes by 38 percent -- but minor fender benders rose by 12 percent.

About 280 of the European-type traffic circles have been installed in Wisconsin since the 1990's. The DOT expects to build another 90 in the next three years.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)