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Numerous crashes in first week since opening of Lakeville roundabout

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It was designed to improve traffic flow in Lakeville, but drivers' unfamiliarity with how to use a two-lane roundabout has led to numerous crashes in the week since it opened.

KSTP reports that there have been 13 crashes on the roundabout at the intersection of County Roads 50 and 60 since it opened on Aug. 28.

"It's going to take a little while for people to get used to it," driver Pat Harvey told the TV station, with the Minnesota Department of Transportation saying most of the problems at multi-lane roundabouts stem from drivers failing to yield.

It is the first multi-lane roundabout to open in Dakota County, costing $11.8 million to build and was designed to alleviate the heavy congestion problems at the intersection, the Pioneer Press reports.

The county's assistant engineer Brian Sorenson said that a two-lane roundabout at the intersection was preferable to the lights system given that around 30,000 motorists pass through the intersection each day, the newspaper notes.

Sorenson told the Star Tribune that any accidents at roundabouts are likely to be less serious than those at lights intersections – more likely to be sideswipes than T-bone collisions.

If you're unsure how to use a roundabout, here's the Minnesota Department of Transportation's YouTube guide.

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