NEW INFORMATION: Wisconsin bill would let towns veto roundabouts

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is speaking out against a bill that would give communities power over whether new roundabouts are built on state and county roads.

The department and other opponents spoke out against the measure at a public hearing Tuesday I the state Assembly's Transportation Committee. They say the bill would create snags for already lengthy road projects. Opponents also tout safety benefits and decreased fuel consumption to support building roundabouts.

Republican Rep. David Craig, of Big Bend, says he wants to give local leaders power because they know the potential concerns of businesses and residents.

Wisconsin has become a national leader in building the European-style traffic circles, with an estimated 280 roundabouts on state and local roads and another 90 planned for the next three years.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) --Wisconsin lawmakers are weighing a proposal that would give local governments more say on that European import that's becoming more familiar to the state's drivers: the roundabout.

Right now the state Department of Transportation or county officials decide when and where to build the traffic circles. The proposal would require municipal officials to sign off before project managers could move ahead.

Wisconsin has about 200 roundabouts, which are built in lieu of stop signs and traffic lights. The bill's sponsor says developers should have to consider business and motorist concerns before building new roundabouts.

DOT officials say drivers typically dislike the circles but favor them once they're built. The Assembly Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on the bill Tuesday. The measure isn't expected to move further this session.

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