A roundabout with a yellow smiley was built to put smiles on the faces of children travelling by it. Last month, the creator had reason to smile as his idea was awarded International Roundabout of the Year 2019 by UKRAS, the UK Roundabout Appreciation Society.
The new roundabout was made as part of the road construction in connection with the capital’s big school expansion project which included Glasir, the new music school and the á Fløtum school.
“With a new school opening close by, I knew many children would be travelling through this particular roundabout,” says Pól Adrian Poulsen, project manager. “I thought it would be fun to create something that would put a smile on their faces.”
Pól Adrian was aware of the challenges his idea would face from various road and safety authorities. After initial concerns about safety, the idea won approval from all sides.
“Engineers are known to follow rules quite strictly and are, perhaps, not the most openminded people,” says Pól Adrian with a smile. “But I’m pleased we manage to convince everyone to agree to it. Obviously, it is very important to be careful when constructing things like this. The more people are involved, the better, as it helps guarantee that all possible scenarios are thought through and that all measures are taken to secure road safety.”
The news of the international recognition came as a shock to Pól Adrian.
“I was very surprised, as I never expected this to make news elsewhere,” he says. “But it also made me very happy.”
UKRAS is a UK-based group that discusses traffic roundabouts. The main topic of discussion is the architecture of the roundabouts, including their design and safety features. The smiley roundabout will be featured on the front cover of UKRAS’ 2020 calendar.