Roundabouts: The Most Loathed Infrastructure

Peloton RAB_440

The roughly 3,700 circular traffic intersections in the U.S. are feared, avoided, and even loathed, often without good reason. This fear is rooted in the invention’s history. Early traffic circles (Columbus  Circle in NYC is largely acknowledged as the first roundabout, built in 1905) were incredibly dangerous and impractical — mainly for one reason: entering traffic had the right of way, while circulating traffic had to yield. This led to high-speed merging and over-congestion which, in turn, increased the frequency of collisions.

Revamped in the 1960’s, modern roundabouts now give priority to circulating vehicles making them much safer than their circulatory roadway ancestors. These modern roundabouts weren’t built in the U.S. until the late 1990’s. We now maintain about 90 roundabouts per 100,000 miles of paved road in the U.S. (The UK boasts not only the most roundabouts in the world – as a proportion of total road space – they also maintain a “ Roundabout Appreciation Society”, whose president is known locally as The Lord of the Rings.)

Using simple principles of physics, roundabouts dramatically reduce crash rates, as well as injuries and deaths. They diminish vehicle emissions. They are a more effective use of road space, and cost less to maintain than traditional four-way intersections. Roundabouts reduce crashes by the very nature of their geometry. While traditional four-way intersections have 32 possible collision conflict points, roundabouts have only 8. In 2001, Discover Magazine declared: “The roundabout is the single most important device ever created to help control traffic safely and smoothly.”

RAB Collision Conflict Points 440

What People Think Engineers Do


Cassco to be Honored by FW Chamber


On September 3rd, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce will honor Cassco Development Company with the 4th Annual Vandergriff Award, presented annually to a legacy individual or organization whose contributions have positively impacted Tarrant County. Cassco, the development arm of Edwards Ranch, has successfully overseen the creation of some of Fort Worth’s finest neighborhoods and commercial developments. The Vandergriff Award was established in 2011 in memory of the late Tarrant County Judge Tom Vandergriff and recognizes an individual, company, organization or event that has positively impacted Tarrant County. Peloton congratulates Cassco Development Company on their success and we value the relationship we have built while working together on the Clearfork mixed-use project.


Peloton Land Solutions was ranked #2 in the August 10th Fort Worth Business list of Environmental Consulting Firms. Peloton has a staff of experienced biologists and ecologists providing environmental and regulatory compliance support services to a broad range of industries and client types. Our environmental professionals include Certified Wildlife Biologists®, Qualified Airport Wildlife Biologists (meeting the requirements of FAA AC 150/5200-36), rangeland ecologists, a Certified Arborist®, and GIS specialists. Ranking is based on number of professionals employed.

Peloton Welcomes Jenilee Mead, P.E. to Austin Office


Peloton Land Solutions announces the hire of Jenilee Mead as project manager in our Austin office.  Mead, who brings almost 10 years’ experience in land development and project management, will play a key role in business development, cultivating client relationships, and managing site civil projects.

“As we’ve seen in our other two Texas offices, we also continue to experience growth in our Austin business segment.  Jenilee brings the ideal mix of engineering, business development, and client service experience to our team as we expand in this market,” said Peloton President and CEO Aric Head.  “We’re proud to have her on board as project manager at Peloton,” he added.

Mead has extensive project management and civil design experience in the areas of urban mixed use, single-family residential, office and industrial projects, and detailed entitlement cases, including zoning, subdivision, and planned developments.  With a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio State University, Mead joins Peloton’s team that is quickly approaching 100 professional engineers, planners, surveyors, environmental scientists, landscape architects, and support personnel across three Texas offices.

Facebook Groundbreaking

FB Data Center

At a groundbreaking this morning, Governor Greg Abbott, Mayor Betsy Price, and Ross Perot, Jr. joined with Facebook executives to officially announce the construction of a Facebook data center on a 110-acre site on the northeast corner of Park Vista Boulevard and Texas 170 in Hillwood’s AllianceTexas development. Peloton’s Fort Worth office has been involved with this project for the past 6 months, working with Hillwood and Facebook on the site layout, entitlement, and site design of the facility. Construction of Phase 1 begins tomorrow on approximately 500,000 square feet of data hall and administrative areas, and Phase 2 will include  250,000 square-feet of additional data hall area.

Read more in FW Business and the Star Telegram

Clean Water Rule: Definition of “Waters of the U.S.”


The EPA and USACE issued the final Clean Water Rule defining “Waters of the U.S.” on May 27, 2015 (40 CFR 230.3). The rule will become effective 60 days after the Federal Register publication, which is expected in mid-June.

The final Clean Water Rule stems from a proposed rule published in April 2014 by the EPA/USACE to clarify the scope of waters of the U.S. The proposed rule received over 1 million public comments. The EPA/USACE’s stated intent with the final rule is to increase Clean Water Act (section 404) predictability and consistency.

According to the rule, the EPA/USACE will not reopen existing approved jurisdictional determinations unless requested to do so by the applicant or unless new information warrants revision of the determination before the approved jurisdictional determination expiration period (typically five years). Approved jurisdictional determinations associated with issued permits and authorizations will be valid until the expiration date of the permit or authorization. Applicants seeking jurisdictional determinations after the Clean Water Rule becomes effective should expect the jurisdictional determination will be made consistent with the Clean Water Rule. It is assumed expired, approved jurisdictional determinations will be treated in a similar manner.

Visit the EPA Clean Water Rule website

Peloton Young Professionals Group Builds for Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity

The Peloton Young Professionals Group (along with other Peloton employees and family members) recently volunteered at the Trinity Habitat for Humanity Blitz Build in Fort Worth’s Hillside – Morningside neighborhood, one of Habitat’s Communities of Character neighborhood revitalization initiative target areas. On the day of the build, the group of 15 Peloton builders joined other volunteers with the finish-out of siding and trim work in preparation for the dedication of five new homes. “It was a great opportunity to help out in our community, and to spend some time together outside of work,” said Peloton organizer, Kole Weber, P.E. “I was really impressed with the amount of work we completed in the five hours we were out there.” Peloton worked in teams, and after some guidance from the Habitat crew, were left in charge of their own tasks.

Drone Adapted to Inspect Bridges/Walls


A leading electronics maker is developing a prototype quadcopter that could help reduce bridge inspection and maintenance costs. The drone consists of a central unit with four rotors, a high-definition camera (that can capture cracks as small as 2mm wide), and sensors including gyroscopes. On either side of this central unit are two large fiberglass wheels intended to allow the drone to scoot along the underside of bridges and along walls, checking for wear and tear.

The wheels serve to protect the drone from pipes and other obstacles when it flies up vertical bridge supports and along the undersides of bridges. They also help keep the drone a fixed distance from the surfaces it is video recording. Fujitsu plans to continue trials of the drone before commercialization.

A Few Things You Probably Didn’t Know About USACE


Although generally associated with dams, canals and flood protection in the United States, USACE is involved in a wide range of public works throughout the world. The official mission of USACE is to “deliver vital public and military engineering services; partnering in peace and war to strengthen our Nation’s security, energize the economy and reduce risks from disasters.”

But did you know:

  • George Washington appointed the first engineer officers of the Army on June 16, 1775, during the American Revolution, and engineers have served in combat in all subsequent American wars.
  • The Army established the Corps of Engineers as a separate, permanent branch on March 16, 1802, and gave the engineers responsibility for founding and operating the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
  • The Corps substantially expanded the system of fortifications protecting New York Harbor, including the 11-pointed fort that now serves as the base of the Statute of Liberty (which convinced the commanders of the British navy to avoid attacking that strategic location during the War of 1812).
  • In the 1850’s, westward expansion generated interest in a rail link from the Mississippi to the Pacific coast, and topographical engineer officers surveyed and evaluated four alternative routes for the road, gathering a great deal of scientific information at the same time.
  • On the beaches of Normandy, engineer troops, operating under heavy enemy fire, cleared lanes for landing craft by destroying the mine-bearing steel structures that the Germans had implanted in the intertidal zone and bulldozed roads up the narrow draws through the cliffs lining the beaches.
  • Army engineers supported 9/11 recovery efforts and currently play an important international role in the rapidly evolving Global War on Terrorism.
  • Today, USACE owns and operates 24 percent of the U.S. hydropower capacity or 3 percent of the total U.S. electric capacity. It is also the nation’s number one federal provider of outdoor recreation.