Carmel roundabout a favorite in the U.K.
Carmel is known for many things, but one unique attribute has earned it worldwide recognition: the city’s 90-plus roundabouts.
One roundabout, on Main Street at the archway of the Carmel Arts & Design District, recently received international acclaim when the U.K. Roundabout Appreciation Society named it as one of its favorites. It was chosen for the month of August in the British society’s 2016 calendar.
Kevin Beresford, the president of the society, sent a letter to Carmel stating that the organization thought the fragrant flower arrangement and ornate water feature added charm to the roundabout.
“Carmel has been on our radar for the past few years,” Beresford wrote. “We are 100 percent aware of your love of these fine round pieces of architecture.”
Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said he thought the society described the city’s roundabout quite well.
“We’re trying to market the city any way we can, so they’ve heard about Carmel,” he said. “It’s interesting that roundabouts are one reason that people have heard of us.”
The city released a statement about its roundabouts that stated, “Roundabouts have been a part of British society for many years and the artistic displays seen there and in cities across the globe are often beautiful, inspiring and functional. Here in Carmel, we have made a concerted effort to use landscaping elements such as fountains, flowers and architecture in a similar way; and it is nice to be recognized by this internationally known group.”
In addition to the calendar, a meme – a photo that spreads “virally” as users share it with others – includes a “fun fact” about Carmel’s roundabouts. It reads, “Carmel, a city in Indiana, replaced all their signaled intersections with roundabouts, construction costs dropped $125,000, gas savings reached 24k gallons/year per roundabout, injury accidents dropped 80 percent and total accidents dropped by 40 percent.” This meme has been seen on numerous Web sites including Reddit and has been shared by online users far beyond the reaches of Carmel.