Drivers in South Anchorage are learning to navigate a new roundabout.


Alaska Department of Transportation crews spent more than one month constructing a new traffic circle at the intersection of West Klatt Road and Johns Road.


Some people took to social media to voice their complaints about the roundabout’s design, saying the concrete barriers in the middle are too high and they can’t see oncoming traffic.


DOT spokesperson Shannon McCarthy said that’s the way it’s supposed to be.


“The reason why it’s designed that way is engineers want drivers to know it’s different than a four-way intersection,” she said.


McCarthy added drivers only need to focus on vehicles to their left, so there’s no need to see what traffic across the circle is doing.


She said DOT gets complaints from a “vocal minority” but said roundabout are safer and more cost-effective in the long run.


All modern roundabouts will be designed with some sort of barrier in the middle; the ones on Huffman and on C Street near O’Malley are filled with trees and landscaping.


“[In] early roundabouts, the center was mounded and we did have some folks who just drove right over them as opposed to slowing down, looking to the left and yielding to people already in the roundabout,” McCarthy explained.


Peggy Weston moved into the Klatt neighborhood about eight months ago. She called it “the most beautiful roundabout in town” and said it would help ease congestion.


“I think like a lot of us in town roundabouts take some getting used to. But this is a nice, easy one. It makes sense and I think it was a wonderful solution to the traffic problem,” Weston said.


DOT also has plans to renovate the two Dowling roundabouts. They were the first ones installed in Anchorage and now the design is too small to handle the traffic volume. That project is scheduled for 2021.