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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i get dizzy in roundabouts!

This is another topics similar to RLC's and speed cams. Its sure to pucker up everyone's hemoryds one way or the other.

The root question is why is any intersection a good cantidate for a roundabout?

Is there a lot of pedestrian and bicycle traffic? Then perhaps stop signs and speed bumps or rumble strips make more sense. Drivers are always surprised to find a pedrestrian 270 degrees from where they entered the rounabout!

Have a moderately high speed road, moderate to high traffic and good visability all across the roundabout, odds on bet a roundabout is a good choice.

Putting in a roundabout to make the intersection pretty doesn't get it.

It's got to be well thought out, designed and implemented. Of course sinage letting the driver become aware of the roundabout helps.

I've seen good ones, and bad ones and exceptionally good and bad ones all around the world.

Some should just be n-way stops.

I found a roundabout, with no side streets out in the middle of what would be considered a corn field. When I inquired about it, someone had planned on putting in additional houses and the plan fell through but the roundabout was in place and would cost to much to take out.

So count me as being against the ones that are in place for all the wrong reasons and supportive of the ones in place for the right reasons that are well designed and implemented.

--
Never argue with a pig. It makes you look foolish and it anoys the hell out of the pig!

GPS 'lag'

I have been caught going past my exit in a roundabout because the Nuvi 'lags' just long enough for you to see the exit go by without me on it. A 4 entry/exit is not too bad but 5 or 6 entry/exit points gets tricky.

Usually, the second time around I get it right.

--
If at first you don't succeed....redefine success

nuvi instructions

virtually lost wrote:

I have been caught going past my exit in a roundabout because the Nuvi 'lags' just long enough for you to see the exit go by without me on it. A 4 entry/exit is not too bad but 5 or 6 entry/exit points gets tricky.

Usually, the second time around I get it right.

Doesn't your nuvi give you a heads up before entering the roundabout? Mine in N AZ say something like "In .2 miles enter the roundabout, then take the 3rd exit."

2 laners

soberbyker wrote:

NJ's circles were difficult, it seemed no one knew the rules for the flow, the circle itself was two lanes too, so if you got into the inner circle you'd have a tough time getting out of the damn thing, no one would yield.

I don't think I've ever been in a 2-lane wide circle. I can see where that would add a lot of complexity/confusion compared to the 1-laners.

Multi lane roundabouts are easy

soberbyker wrote:

I don't think I've ever been in a 2-lane wide circle. I can see where that would add a lot of complexity/confusion compared to the 1-laners.

Makes me think of the movie, "Earth girls are easy!"

Multi lane roundabouts are easy if you recognize them and understand the rules.

The right lanes are for immediate entry and exit. Ever one else, move to the left 1 lane. (these work best if the right hand lane forces you to exit at each juncture.

Multi lane roundabouts are significantly larger the the neighborhood roundabouts.

The intended maximum speed limit is supposed to be a shopping 15 MPH.

I gotta tell you, I'm sure in states where the favorite sport is NASCAR, these guys live by the saying, "Go fast and turn left." I'm not certain roundabouts in these states would do very well razz

--
Never argue with a pig. It makes you look foolish and it anoys the hell out of the pig!

Not a big fan

I've driven in England where I saw them for the first time. We have a couple around where I live and I'm not a big fan. They are OK when traffic is light, but in heavy traffic no one seems to know what to do. I'm old enough to remember when interstate highways were first being built. It was before I was driving but I remember my Dad (a professional truck driver) talking about how no one seemed to know how to use on and off ramps. Maybe when a new generation has grown up with them they'll be just another common type of intersection that most people will take for granted.

Not together

In Europe, runabout are quite frequent. They are OK and actually mostly good. But I've seen some that were just next to each other, like an 8, that made it confusing.

wow

jale wrote:

In Europe, runabout are quite frequent. They are OK and actually mostly good. But I've seen some that were just next to each other, like an 8, that made it confusing.

http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/intersection/roundabouts/presenta...

--
. 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. .

Imagine

Trying to attempt this in England grin

--
Nüvi 255WT with nüMaps Lifetime North America born on 602117815 / Nüvi 3597LMTHD born on 805972514 / I love Friday’s except when I’m on holidays ~ canuk

free for all

if there is very much traffic, then it is like driving in Rome. If you are aggressive and fearless and willing to scrape paint with other vehicles, you can get to where you want to go. Otherwise, roundabouts are horrible.

--
___________________ Garmin 2455, 855, Oregon 550t

Nightmare

canuk wrote:

Trying to attempt this in England grin

Now I know what my nightmare will be about tonight.

Round about

I hate them. Cars swerve into different lanes to leave the roundabout and you don't know what they are going to do.

I like good oldfashioned square corners.

That shouldn't bother you.

That shouldn't bother you. You have to yield to ALL vehicles in the Roundabout. Or are you doing it wrong?

--
Frank DriveSmart55 37.322760, -79.511267

Would appreciate..

Would appreciate them more, if people knew how to use them.

Roundabout

There is one in Fort Worth known as suicide circle.

Deadly when they don't

allbizz wrote:

Would appreciate them more, if people knew how to use them.

In some countries, people have no idea how to use them. In addition, for these places diving on the left, it makes it very dangerous for us. But in general, they're OK.

depends

roywadams wrote:

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

I think it depends on the design and the traffic. If there is too much traffic, it is hard to get on/in the roundabout. If you are not in the correct lane, it is sometimes difficult to get off where you need to.

There is a local roundabout

There is a local roundabout I use on occasion with mixed one and two lane sections. That is the outer lane must exit when the lane ends. The inner lane also can exit at the same street. I always wonder why someone in the outer lane doesn’t try to continue around the circle and t-bone a car exiting from the inner lane. I haven’t seen it happen yet but you can be sure I am really careful when I drive there.

there are several

Roundy-go-rounds in the District of Corruption. They are of various configurations and it takes a fair amount of time to master the lot of them.

Some have disappearing lanes, lanes separated by islands, some of these fun navigation instruments even have electric signals and pedestrian walk ways to the center of the circle.

I was always amazed there weren't more accidents in these ill designed traffic hazards than there are, but never living on these circles I can't say just how hazardous they really are. I just know I no longer have to try and thread my way through these nightmares.

--
Never argue with a pig. It makes you look foolish and it anoys the hell out of the pig!

nice but ...

phranc wrote:

That shouldn't bother you. You have to yield to ALL vehicles in the Roundabout. Or are you doing it wrong?

While that may be the intended way to navigate one it just doesn't work during times of heavy traffic where no one wants to let you in or out of one.

--
. 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. .

nice but ...

phranc wrote:

That shouldn't bother you. You have to yield to ALL vehicles in the Roundabout. Or are you doing it wrong?

While that may be the intended way to navigate one it just doesn't work during times of heavy traffic where no one wants to let you in or out of one.

--
. 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. .

I'd hate to be a pedestrian

I'd hate to be a pedestrian trying to cross at one of the roundabouts here during busy traffic hours. There should be signs posted for them to "Run like He.l". The crosswalk lines are probably there to make it all look pretty from the air.

--
I never get lost, but I do explore new territory every now and then.

Diverging Diamond Interchange

Another 'new' traffic design is coming to western Chicago; the "Diverging Diamond" expressway interchange. This is currently under construction and will open later this month. Note how both northbound and southbound lanes switch sides before they go over the bridge.

Driving on the left side of the road? Now THAT's going to take some getting used to! And I think it will be interesting to see how long before this gets picked up by a map update.

https://vimeo.com/131472369

don't forget

johnc wrote:

Another 'new' traffic design is coming to western Chicago; the "Diverging Diamond" expressway interchange. This is currently under construction and will open later this month. Note how both northbound and southbound lanes switch sides before they go over the bridge.

Driving on the left side of the road? Now THAT's going to take some getting used to! And I think it will be interesting to see how long before this gets picked up by a map update.

https://vimeo.com/131472369

the 'michigan left', 'new jersey left' etc

It Depends

We have many new roundabouts here in Virginia. I've used them in Europe as well. I like them for rural and secondary roads, but not for major thoroughfares. They keep traffic flowing and also have a secondary benefit of slowing traffic down at critical intersections.

How to navigate UDOT's new continuous flow intersection

johnc wrote:

Another 'new' traffic design is coming to western Chicago; the "Diverging Diamond" expressway interchange. This is currently under construction and will open later this month. Note how both northbound and southbound lanes switch sides before they go over the bridge.

Driving on the left side of the road? Now THAT's going to take some getting used to! And I think it will be interesting to see how long before this gets picked up by a map update.

https://vimeo.com/131472369

Utah has a unique one every other lane is opposing, sort of ....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVI3Ledw7mc

.

--
. 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. .

been on

soberbyker wrote:
johnc wrote:

Another 'new' traffic design is coming to western Chicago; the "Diverging Diamond" expressway interchange. This is currently under construction and will open later this month. Note how both northbound and southbound lanes switch sides before they go over the bridge.

Driving on the left side of the road? Now THAT's going to take some getting used to! And I think it will be interesting to see how long before this gets picked up by a map update.

https://vimeo.com/131472369

Utah has a unique one every other lane is opposing, sort of ....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVI3Ledw7mc

.

it,I think every intersection on Bangenter Highway is the same way. Works ok, as long as the traffic stays in the correct lane

I like them, as long as...

....they are designed correctly. I saw my first rotary in New England 40 something years ago. It took some getting used to, but I liked the way they handled traffic. That being said; they were designed a lot better than the ones I am seeing in SW Ohio. The ones they are putting in here are way too small and they don't handle traffic as efficiently as the ones in the Northeast.

--
It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible. ----George Washington

A better "diamond"

johnc wrote:

Another 'new' traffic design is coming to western Chicago; the "Diverging Diamond" expressway interchange.

I95 and I695 near Baltimore have used a similar configuration for decades. The difference is they use overpasses, rather than grade crossings with lights. With trees and other ramps, most drivers probably are not aware that the lanes have switched sides.

2011 till now

Still do not like them!

Roundabouts

They make me nervous and I avoid them if I can.

--
******************Garmin Nüvi 1300T****************Member 6523*******************

Don't get me started ...

blake7mstr wrote:

the 'michigan left', 'new jersey left' etc

Not familiar with the Michigan left, but New Jersey, they can't make up their mind, they did away with most of the circles they had and in most cases on a highway a left turn is made from a right hand "jug handle" or is it, there are also some tradition left turn lanes, no pattern to whether or not you have to go right, or left, to make the darn left turn.

--
. 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. .

michigan left

soberbyker wrote:
blake7mstr wrote:

the 'michigan left', 'new jersey left' etc

Not familiar with the Michigan left, but New Jersey, they can't make up their mind, they did away with most of the circles they had and in most cases on a highway a left turn is made from a right hand "jug handle" or is it, there are also some tradition left turn lanes, no pattern to whether or not you have to go right, or left, to make the darn left turn.

think of it as a variation on the Jersey Jughandles

instead of turning left at an intersection you proceed thru, make a U-turn then make a right.

there is a video at http://www.udot.utah.gov/LaytonImproved/ that demonstrates it.

I lived in NJ until I was 15...

still live just across the Delaware in PA (for the last 44 years)...we called them traffic circles and I don't like them...NJ did away with many (most) of them over the years.

--
"You can't get there from here"

Way better than waiting an a

Way better than waiting an a stop light - they work and they are efficient.

--
Garmin Drive Smart 61 NA LMT-S

Crossed lanes

zeaflal wrote:
johnc wrote:

Another 'new' traffic design is coming to western Chicago; the "Diverging Diamond" expressway interchange.

I95 and I695 near Baltimore have used a similar configuration for decades. The difference is they use overpasses, rather than grade crossings with lights. With trees and other ramps, most drivers probably are not aware that the lanes have switched sides.

I 95 in NC, at the 101 rest stop cross lanes so that the rest area is in the middle and most folks don't realize it, because there are two rest areas separated by a thin tree line.

--
Frank DriveSmart55 37.322760, -79.511267

you gave me a chuckle

KenSny wrote:

I'd hate to be a pedestrian trying to cross at one of the roundabouts here during busy traffic hours. There should be signs posted for them to "Run like He.l". The crosswalk lines are probably there to make it all look pretty from the air.

imagine if we had signs like that. LOL

I go through a double diverging diamond almost every day

Outside Charlottesville Virginia one of these opened at the intersection of Route 15 and Interstate 64 about a year ago. Works as advertised and is not overly confusing after you have been through it once or twice. I commented in the Garmin update thread that they finally updated this interchange to show the double diverging diamond.

http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/culpeper/zioncrossroads....

.

Garmin Gal wrote:

Way better than waiting an a stop light - they work and they are efficient.

In Dublin, Ireland, there are traffic circles ("roundabouts") near the airport that have traffic lights! Bit of an oxymoron.

Key Things to Remember

Saw another accident, today at Kitchener's busiest roundabout. This is a two lane roundabout, close to a major high school, so we have a lot of pedestrians at peak times and lots of cars.

I saw the result, not the cause, but it can be guaranteed, that it was one of two possibilities. Fortunately, it was a sideswipe and nobody was hurt. If this had been a normal intersection, it would have been a T-Bone, and possibly serious injuries.

1. The driver entering into the outer circle did not yield to the person in the inner circle, who was likely exiting the inner circle. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS yield to the driver in the roundabout.

OR

2. Driver in the outer circle turned left in front of the driver in the inner circle. If you are in the outer circle you are only allowed to go to the right or straight through. And again, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS yield to the driver already in the roundabout.

Most roundabout accidents are caused by these two mistakes.

--
NUVI2555LMT, NUVI350

they

perpster wrote:
Garmin Gal wrote:

Way better than waiting an a stop light - they work and they are efficient.

In Dublin, Ireland, there are traffic circles ("roundabouts") near the airport that have traffic lights! Bit of an oxymoron.

do that at some circles here in the states

Great in many circumstances, but not all

I think they are great when there is enough room for one and the middle is unobstructed. I have seen too many where visual obstructions like large plants or even walls are added.

I also go through a couple that are way too tight.

A town nearby spent $2 million putting in 2 roundabouts when $50,000 would have placed stop lights instead. I think it was a major waste given the alternatives they had, but it was a shady deal with only a few people making the decision. Luckily there is a lawsuit against them as pressure is mounting to find out if they received kickbacks. 2 business that were doing well on that corner are now closed and one has been abandoned for 2 years because there is no easy way to enter or exit their lots now.

Not to mention the accident rate has actually gone up at the intersections. I see multiple people each week not understanding how to use them and they go the wrong way through them, almost like a shortcut, but I can tell they are just confused.

Roundabout/Rotary/Trafic Circle...

I like all three!

Spend 10 minutes watching the MythBusters (link below) take on this and the idea that 4 way stops are more efficient falls apart.

http://www.wimp.com/testroundabout/

For a more rigorous (read: nap inducing) look at traffic circles vs 4 way stops, see the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) paper in the link below.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/174870895/ITE-A-Comparative-Evalua...

This report shows that they are CLEARLY safer for both property and people.

I found it particularly enlightening, given some of the comments above, how the traffic circles of old are not the ultimate of design. Traffic Engineers have learned, and now design better roundabouts. So, just because they were bad in the past IS NO REASON to halt development and implementation now or in the future. If that mindset WAS correct, we never would have climbed out of the cave.

I find the argument that we should not adopt them because "old people" have a difficult time with them particularly sad (and kind of offencive to old people), especially on a internet forum for GPS users - one of the most High Tech inventions of all time. I believe Americans can learn... Our parents/Grandparents did with those "New Fangled Traffic Lights" and we can with Rotaries.

More efficient, safer, practicable. As I said before, I like all three!

Roundabouts are great

Roundabouts are very good tools, assuming drivers understand how to drive and yield. The roundabouts should be properly signed with good, standard pavement markings.

However, they do not work well when there is a busy primary road with constant flow (think rush hour) and a side street entering the same roundabout. Without a break in traffic, the side street never gets a chance to enter.

In general, they help traffic flow better, eliminate the safety "dead time" when all lights are red, keep traffic moving but at a safer speed than folks trying to "beat" the red, require no electricity, need little maintenance (shrubs in the middle are nice), and are quite efficient.

Note that they big traffic circles (NJ) and "rotaries" in MA/RI are different than the smaller roundabouts used in other states and Europe, at least in traffic engineering terms.

Michigan Left

blake7mstr wrote:
johnc wrote:

Another 'new' traffic design is coming to western Chicago; the "Diverging Diamond" expressway interchange. This is currently under construction and will open later this month. Note how both northbound and southbound lanes switch sides before they go over the bridge.

Driving on the left side of the road? Now THAT's going to take some getting used to! And I think it will be interesting to see how long before this gets picked up by a map update.

https://vimeo.com/131472369

the 'michigan left', 'new jersey left' etc

My Nuvi's have properly directed me on the 'Michigan left' turns when I visit family in Holland MI. I was quite pleasantly surprised the first time we went there after getting a Nuvi.

My experience has been that Chicago is such a high-volume traffic area that map updates on the interstates and tollways get pretty high priority. I have seen major road changes make it to the map updates within a year.

Wonder how many deaths it will take t kill

soberbyker wrote:
johnc wrote:

Another 'new' traffic design is coming to western Chicago; the "Diverging Diamond" expressway interchange. This is currently under construction and will open later this month. Note how both northbound and southbound lanes switch sides before they go over the bridge.

Driving on the left side of the road? Now THAT's going to take some getting used to! And I think it will be interesting to see how long before this gets picked up by a map update.

https://vimeo.com/131472369

Utah has a unique one every other lane is opposing, sort of ....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVI3Ledw7mc

.

this stupid idea!

--
"You can't get there from here"

.

Diverging diamonds and continuous flow intersections may look good on paper and animations. But, they seem to have high potential for head-on collisions and/or vehicle into pedestrian accidents (from pedestrians not knowing which way to look at each point as they cross, and from drivers distracted by trying to figure out where to go and not seeing pedestrians while doing so).

I have not "studied" them, but looking at what's been linked online, they seem to require more driver concentration, and seem to have too many opportunities for driving into the wrong lane, into opposing traffic.

It's bad enough on the roads now, with people distracted by electronic communication devices. Will these "improvements" really work and be worth it in the long run? I'm not taking a position, just thinking out loud.

Roundabouts

The first one I saw was coming out of Shannon airport in Ireland.
That plus driving on the other side of the road was an experience to be sure.
After a while it becomes second nature (or die) Not bad as long as everybody knows what to do.

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

They're okay but drivers are dangerous

We have very few in the northeast and the few that we do have are near misses and disasters. Folks have no idea how to use them and what to do. Better signage before the roundabout and improved driver training would help.

same game

where getting more and more of them in Washington state it seems the key word is " YELD " it must be a term with a lot of different meanings because a lot of folks don't understand it !

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