Roundabout opinion

 

I'm starting to see many new roundabouts around the US Southeast. I just read many older drivers don't like them. I'm 63, and am a fan.

It seems to me "Yield to traffic in circle" is much less confusing that the usual 4 way stop quandry of I think I was here first.

So, I'm curious: What's your opinion?

Like? Dislike? Why?

Roy Adams
Atlanta and Tampa

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Dislike

There is one in west Fort Worth, Texas known as "suicide circle". shock

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roundabouts are much safer the traffic circle in ft.worth is deadly.... lived there for 21 years saw many bad wrecks!!!!

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Everyday is a GREAT day :)

I'm older

I don't like them. Our highway engineer said they will eliminate T-Bone crashes, thus reduce severe injuries. OK then.

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1490LMT 1450LMT 295w

avoid stops.

In general, I like roundabouts when they are used instead of stop signs or lights. However, sometimes they don't work too well when the traffic gets congested at the intersection. It can become difficult or impossible to enter the circle from a side street unless someone yields to you.

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Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

Mixed opinion

I have mixed opinions about them but may lean slightly towards liking the well-designed ones. They do slow folks down--especially when there's a "roundabout newbie" ahead of you sad . Compared to a 4-way stop or traffic light, they may be quicker to pass through. Given roundabout speeds by all drivers, they must tremendously reduce serious high-speed collisions and injuries.

Getting back to GPSes, I was surprised and happy the first time my TTS voice said "At roundabout, take the third exit continuing on State Route 179" or some such thing. Sedona and the village of Oak Creek, AZ are simply swarming with them in the past few years.

By far, the most annoying roundabout I've been on is on Woody Mountain Rd just north of I-40 in west Flagstaff (and currently not IDed by City Nav. NA as a roundabout) due to several pre-roundabout zig zags, a tight-circle roundabout--and the fact that it was put in place for the entry to a housing development that been stalled for several years now so the roundabout currently serves no purpose at all.

I Lived and Drove in London...

for six years so I am very comfortable with roundabouts, which are much easier when one drives on the right!!!!!

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RKF (Bethesda, MD) Garmin Nuvi 660, 360 & Street Pilot

.

In my opinion, they tend to be bad when you interject them into an area where the drivers are not used to driving in them.

We have one here where a good percentage of the people come up to it and either don't know what to do and want to turn left (when all the traffic goes to the right) or don't obey the yield signs and blow right into the circle.

Jill

Motorcycle Mama wrote:

We have one here where a good percentage of the people come up to it and either don't know what to do and want to turn left (when all the traffic goes to the right) or don't obey the yield signs and blow right into the circle.

warns me. "Enter roundabout. Watch for idiots." Gotta love TTS Editor!!

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Illiterate? Write for free help.

Looks Like I May Hold a Minority View

I dislike roundabouts.

I grew up in Columbus, GA. There was a major roundabout (We called it the "Traffic Circle".) on Victory Drive (US Highway 280) near the entrance to Ft. Benning. It was a major impediment to traffic flow and the site of frequent fender benders. The city took it out several years ago. When I drive through now, the traffic is flowing smoothly.

I guess a roundabout could be OK in a neighborhood to slow traffic where kids play outside but imho roundabouts are something that ought to be avoided on heavily travelled streets and highways.

--
Garmin nüvi 3597LMTHD, 3760 LMT, & 255LMT, - "Those who wish for fairness without first protecting freedom will end up with neither freedom nor fairness." - Milton Friedman

new wrinkle

US65 in western MO is a high speed divided highway. It is always dangerous where a county road intersects. The DOT has a modification in a few places. All cross-traffic on the county road,must turn right, then proceed about a quarter mile, then do a U turn through a crossover, then continue back to the road and turn right. Left-turning traffic on US65 must continue past the road, then U-turn and come back, then turn right. Cross traffic is very sparse at those locations.

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1490LMT 1450LMT 295w

Hate them

I freaking HATE them! Just try entering one from a side street when there's a bunch of traffic. Nobody will let you in. Period. It's just another "good idea" that doesn't work in the real world. We've recently gotten a number of them here where I live and I've almost been smashed into a number of times and have also been blocked from entering from a side street quite a few times. I find them to be a huge waste of money and not a help with traffic at all.

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GPSMAP 76CSx - nüvi 760 - nüvi 200 - GPSMAP 78S

Not a fan

I am of the opinion that like a lot of other things the people that think them up don't use them everyday. When I see major cities taking out traffic lights and putting these circles in maybe I'll change my opinion.

I'd love a few

There are 31 traffic signal lights on a single busy road between my freeway offramp and home. Traffic circles at some of the major intersections would really help traffic flow and eliminate thousands of fuel/time wasting stops and starts for motorists each day. They just have to be properly designed with signs set way in advance telling drivers what lane to be in for proper entry/exit. Nobody should ever have to stop.

Then again, I'm also a fan of setting side street signals to blinking red and leaving the major thrufare signal green once heavy travel times (maybe 9pm) are ended. That too would eliminate stopping a dozen vehicles when just one wants to enter from a side street.

Cheers

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Nuvi 760 & 660, Streetpilot, GPS III, GPS 10X

Old Pro

Grew up in New England with roundabouts- we call 'em rotaries up there. Used to be no yield signs back in the day and we learned quickly to merge or die!

Roundabout noobs are a rather pathetic lot, in my experience.

Roundabout Vs. Traffic Circle

GJannini wrote:

Grew up in New England with roundabouts- we call 'em rotaries up there.

Until today I thought that "roundabout" was just a British term for "traffic circle" but apparently that's not true. For example

http://www.azdot.gov/ccpartnerships/Roundabouts/index.asp

says "Because [the modern roundabout] is round, some people confuse it with a traffic circle or rotary often referred to as gyratory systems. The most important difference between the modern roundabout and these “gyratory” involves the right-of-the-way."

The wikipedia page at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundabout

also clarifies the distinction.

I have no problem with roundabouts, although I accept that they can be somewhat daunting for people who are not used to navigating them.

I like them but ...

they do require drivers to follow the rules which seems contrary to our way of life here in the states where the national pass time is to see how many rules we can get away with breaking or at least bending. We'd need to start a "roundabout cam" POI file ...

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Nuvi 2460

We're getting more of them in Central OH

They are nice when traffic is sparse. Most folks around here don't know how to use them. When traffic is heavier, they don't work well because folks don't know how they are supposed to work.

They seem to work in other areas. Maybe someday, they'll be better.

We have then here in

We have then here in Phoenix. Personally, I like them but you need to proceed with caution. Many people are not used to them and sometimes don't stop when they should.

How's about pedestrians

Is it safer for pedestrians?

Seeing as how most cars don't stop for pedestrians even at crosswalks or stop signs, I'm gonna guess that pedestrians fare even worse at traffic circles, where drivers are already distracted trying to deal with the other motor traffic.

roundabouts

First used them in Europe and didn't like them. I think it was just not being familiar at all with them. After awhile, they seemed normal and I actually like the well executed ones.

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Dudlee

If the rules of the road are

If the rules of the road are properly designed and people know how to use them then they're great, much better than traffic lights, particularly outside rush hour.

Properly designed rules of the road means traffic on the roundabout has priority, rather than traffic entering the roundabout. If you want to see how the other way works then drive round the Place d'Italie in Paris. Traffic entering has priority, so screams onto the roundabout at 60mph, then has to jam on the anchors for the vehicles at the next feeder road, who are also screaming onto the roundabout at 60mph. Net result = massive parking lot with fender benders as a side order.

Only the French could come up with something like that! wink All based on the "priorite a droite" rule they love so much.

Traffic circles in these parts ....

Nearby New Jersey had tons of them, they've gotten rid of many of them. Too dangerous and confusing to most folks. The only time they are convenient is when traffic is light. In heavy traffic you take your life in your hands getting in and out of one of those things, nobody wants to yield.

.

--
. 2 Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S, Nuvi 2689, 2 Nuvi 2460, Zumo 550, Zumo 450, Uniden R3 radar detector with GPS built in, includes RLC info. Uconnect 430N Garmin based, built into my Jeep. .

quite simply

I think they stink. When I lived in Brooklyn New York
where I learned to drive at the age of 17, I used to travel through the traffic circle at Grand Army Plaza. I hated it then and I still hate it, 40+ years later.

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"Ceterum autem censeo, Carthaginem esse delendam" “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

Don't like them, especially

Don't like them, especially when the traffic volume is high.

I think they're okay.

I liked one of two I ever encountered. The other one was okay, but that was in light traffic. Of course the one I liked better was singular laned, so it didn't have the complication of worrying about the proper lane to exit.

I like it

I first learned about roundabouts in my 2nd trip to England when I rented a car and drove the circumference of the Island over 10 years ago. To understand them one has to understand that everyone in that circle is equal irregardless of what size of car you drive or you will spend time explaining to the police why you hit that other car and why you think it was not your fault. It was an eye opener to see how many times drivers would try to intimidate others but would hit the brakes in time to avoid an encounter with the police which would delay them.
There are no longer rolling stops or running red lights so one has to change driving habits or pay the increase in insurance costs. They should also have cameras at each one to see who is to blame.

Weatherford Traffic Circle

werskine wrote:

roundabouts are much safer the traffic circle in ft.worth is deadly.... lived there for 21 years saw many bad wrecks!!!!

Lived in the area all my life (66 years). It has always been called the Weatherford Traffic Circle. Bing it and you can see it.
It is a bear to drive. If you don't know what lane to get in there are a couple of spots that you need to get to the left very fast or you don't go where you want.

Not good for old folks!!

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Mary, Nuvi 2450, Garmin Viago, Honda Navigation, Nuvi 750 (gave to son)

A seasoned veteran behind the wheel is supposed to know better

If you can't negotiate a roundabout or a traffic Circle, then your problem is simple.
You Just Don't Know how to yield to traffic on the move!

Yield Going Into the Roundabout:
Drivers in the circle are not supposed to let people in. It is the vehicle entering the roundabout that is supposed to yield and wait their turn to enter the roundabout.
When you just blow in, it makes the person on the roundabout stop. There may be another vehicle behind them expecting the flow to be uninterrupted and can cause an accident.

Again: CARS IN THE ROUNDABOUT HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY, not the cars entering, Yield to the cars already in the roundabout or traffic circle!

--
Using Android Based GPS.The above post and my sig reflects my own opinions, expressed for the purpose of informing or inspiring, not commanding. Naturally, you are free to reject or embrace whatever you read.

roundabout

They just finished building a roundabout where I live. So far it seems to working ok, no accidents that I have seen. But I did have to stop for a drivers education car that decided to enter the roundabout ahead of me. I'm mostly just glad the construction that was done to build it is over.

Knowing how to drive them

BobDee wrote:

If you can't negotiate a roundabout or a traffic Circle, then your problem is simple.
You Just Don't Know how to yield to traffic on the move!

Yield Going Into the Roundabout:
Drivers in the circle are not supposed to let people in. It is the vehicle entering the roundabout that is supposed to yield and wait their turn to enter the roundabout.
When you just blow in, it makes the person on the roundabout stop. There may be another vehicle behind them expecting the flow to be uninterrupted and can cause an accident.

Again: CARS IN THE ROUNDABOUT HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY, not the cars entering, Yield to the cars already in the roundabout or traffic circle!

Spot on! The Elephant & Castle roundabout in London has about 8 feeder roads around a quarter mile circle and London traffic is rush hour all day long. However London drivers know how to use them and traffic flows around it as fast as any traffic does in London. Can you imagine what would happen to traffic with a set of 8-way traffic lights?

Mind you, it was an interesting experience taking a learner driver onto it for the first time. smile

They make...

sense to me, wish we had more in CA.

--
"Backward, turn backward, oh time in your flight, make me a child again, just for tonight."

Agree

alandb wrote:

In general, I like roundabouts when they are used instead of stop signs or lights. However, sometimes they don't work too well when the traffic gets congested at the intersection. It can become difficult or impossible to enter the circle from a side street unless someone yields to you.

I have to agree. IMHO, they are always better than 4 way stops. However, there comes a point where traffic lights are the better choice. There is a roundabout (locally called a traffic circle) in Riverhead, Long Island that is extremely difficult to enter because of the traffic density.

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Bob: My toys: Nüvi 1390T, Droid X2, Nook Color (rooted), Motorola Xoom, Kindle 2, a Yo-Yo and a Slinky. Gotta have toys.

TRAFFIC LIGHTS

not traffic circles (roundabouts) are needed as traffic increases. Does it make sense going from a 4 way stop to a roundabout if it's likely a light will wind up being needed in a few years?

Living in the UK I am

Living in the UK I am familiar with roundabouts but when using one one in the US everything would be opposite. I'd have to be very careful.

Round about FAQ

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1490LMT 1450LMT 295w

Thank you

spokybob wrote:

O'Fallon IL

http://www.ofallon.org/.../RoundaboutFAQs

A great link. Definitely an "everything you wanted to know, plus more" description!

More of them in parts of VA

Started seeing more of these in parts of northern VA. I don't have much experience with these kinds of intersections. They are not the norm for me. I'm never really sure which lane I'm supposed to be in, and if you go to the inside lane you then have to cross back to exit the circle. So, I tend to stay to the outside.

There should be road

There should be road markings to guide you as to which lane to take.

I've seen the markings

I've seen markings. Don't know if there is a standard, but from memory there's a straight arrow in the left and a straight/right arrow in the right. If I go one exit it would make sense I would stay to the right, but if I'm making a complete or nearly complete circuit it would seem I'm supposed to get in the left lane, then switch back and exit? But the distance around is often so short it can become a bit crazy to do that with people in two lanes looking for an exit while others are entering.

.

I haven't seen any where I live but when I was in Germany there are quite a few. The traffic went pretty smooth because everybody knows how to use them. It will take time to get used to them.

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GPSmap76Cx handheld, Nuvi 2557LMT, Nuvfi 2598LMTHD

Great solution!

Here in Winnipeg we keep adding redlights to intersections. Roundabouts are a far better solution as it keeps traffic flowing and gets rid of useless stop and go patterns, especially at off hours.

Been to England twice and I have yet to see a stop sign!

Roundabouts are used quite effectively in Barbados where land is at a premium.

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phlatlander

Love them but there are too few

There are way too few in the US. They are excellent solutions. Much better than traffic lights in almost every situation... Except for space required and the fact that most people here don't really know how to drive, especially those who think they are great drivers. They require cooperation between all using them, which is why there are so many accidents in them here.

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Nuvi 2595LMT, Nuvi 1490T, Nuvi 260, GPSMAP 195

Roundabouts are nice overall, but not in the US.

phlatlander wrote:

Here in Winnipeg we keep adding redlights to intersections. Roundabouts are a far better solution as it keeps traffic flowing and gets rid of useless stop and go patterns, especially at off hours.

Been to England twice and I have yet to see a stop sign!

Roundabouts are used quite effectively in Barbados where land is at a premium.

The roundabouts in Barbados are quite nice, although I had to keep reminding myself which side of the road to drive on! Fortunately traffic wasn't too heavy and the flow was decent. In the US with heavy traffic and people who don't know what to do, it can be a nightmare.

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Streetpilot C340 Nuvi 2595 LMT

Sign of the times

Aimless wrote:

I've seen markings. Don't know if there is a standard, but from memory there's a straight arrow in the left and a straight/right arrow in the right. If I go one exit it would make sense I would stay to the right, but if I'm making a complete or nearly complete circuit it would seem I'm supposed to get in the left lane, then switch back and exit? But the distance around is often so short it can become a bit crazy to do that with people in two lanes looking for an exit while others are entering.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundabout
http://www.wcroads.org/news/roundabouts/safety.htm

The turbo Roundabout is about the craziest thing you will see with it's flyways.

http://www.4ishgd.valencia.upv.es/index_archivos/75.pdf

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Using Android Based GPS.The above post and my sig reflects my own opinions, expressed for the purpose of informing or inspiring, not commanding. Naturally, you are free to reject or embrace whatever you read.

It figures that it's from Italy

I spent Sept 2010 in Northern Italy. I never saw so many "roundabouts" in my life, sometimes 2 or 3 in a mile.

I was very glad we took the Garmin 260, with Europe maps.

Since we don't speak Italian, every time we came to the roundabout, and heard "Enter the roundabout, and take the third exit", we would both count out loud.

"One, two, three-this one"

Usually it worked.

Roy

Watch out for the timid driver

Personally, I like traffic circles. But, watch out for the timid driver ahead! Some seem to think "Oh no a traffic circle and there's no one else there! How will I know when to stop yielding?"

When the "traffic in circle" isn't too dense, a confident driver can merge and pass through the intersection smoothly.

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Garmin Drivesmart 61, Nuvi 52, Nuvi 1390

Depends

It depends on how they are constructed. There's a new one near the airport in Mobile, Alabama that is very well marked with signs showing the various exit points before you enter the circle, but we have some in Montgomery that have no signage at all. There's one at Auburn University in Montgomery (AUM) that, it has been said, once you get into it, you're never heard from again (LOL). One good point about them is that if you miss your exit, you can always go around again. I had to do that in Gettysburg, PA once.

don't like them

I've been through a few out east, and find them difficult to manage. Traffic flows cross lanes making it hard to safely get into and off the circle.

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___________________ Garmin 2455, 855, Oregon 550t

Roundabouts

I have been to Ireland quite a few times and they use roundabouts there.
I think it is safer to use one than tring to merge into traffic without them, if you are not used to driving in another country.

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Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things!

They're Okay

Just have to get the hang of them.

There's nothing wrong with the traffic circle, rotary, or whatever it's called. If there are problems, it's the drivers.

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GPSMAP64s, iPhone XR w/Garmin North America, Yaesu VX-8R w/GPS.
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