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Culture

A Chat With the Mayor of Roundabout City, USA

Why is Carmel, Indiana, planning to build as many as 40 more roundabouts on top of its existing 102?
Carmel's 100th roundabout, opened this year.
Carmel's 100th roundabout, opened this year.City of Carmel

In Carmel, driving around in circles isn’t a symptom of being lost; it’s a way of life. Despite its small size, the Indiana city has more roundabouts than any other burg in the U.S. Much of that has to do with its Republican mayor, Jim Brainard, who has seemingly waged a campaign to pave all of Carmel with these traffic-calming, accident-reducing rings.

Given that Carmel installed its hundredth roundabout this November—and has since debuted two more—CityLab thought it’d be good to query Brainard about his roundabout obsession. Here’s the (slightly condensed) interview: