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Everything You Might Want to KNow About Roundabouts

 

The Region of Waterloo, in Southern Ontario is home to about 600,000 people and has become the Roundabout capital of North America.

The Region consists of three major cities, Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge, plus a number of smaller rural townships.

At the present time, we have 35 existing Roundabouts, with 2 more to be built this year. There are an additional 19 planned for in the next few years.

Many of these are simple two lane roundabouts, but we also have some very busy 2 lane roundabouts also.

There have been many trials and tribulations, but if you want to know almost all there is to know, go to this website. The local newspaper just completed a very significant series of articles on the Region's experience.

http://www.therecord.com/topic/rec_drivingincircles

The article from today, June 25 shows our the detailed statistics of roundabouts compared to traffic lights.

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NUVI2555LMT, NUVI350
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Great fan

I am a great fan of
1. roundabouts
2. the waterloo area

I first encountered roundabouts in Hilton Head, SC. Their efficiency made me a believer and I have encouraged our town to use them whenever possible. The city engineer is also a fan but he says that the reason he does not install more is the problem of acquiring the extra land required.

I have close friends in the Cambridge area and hope to visit then in the fall. Perhaps go to some plays in Stratford. People are very friendly.

I will have to check out the roundabouts when we get there.

Roundabouts

We have two in our little town.

The first one is inside a strip mall and was built a couple of years ago. People still do not know how to use it, resulting in several near misses.

The second one was built 6 months ago. It has already crumbled (sub-spec cement) and is being rebuilt.

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NUVI40 Kingsport TN

Not for me

Our town uses roundabouts for traffic abatement and they cause more problems with traffic congestion, near misses, etc than what could have been taken care of by easier and safer means. They are not for me!

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ChefDon

You just need to know how they are used.

ChefDon16 wrote:

Our town uses roundabouts for traffic abatement and they cause more problems with traffic congestion, near misses, etc than what could have been taken care of by easier and safer means. They are not for me!

Roundabouts are new and a lot of people are confused as to how they work. This creates what you are seeing.

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Nuvi 650 and 1350.

Not Enough

We don't have many in Suffolk County, LI. Wish there were more. I feel there safer and move traffic better than a usual intersection especially one with stop signs. A plus? No RLCs.

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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.

How do people know how to use them?

My Illinois Rules of the Road booklet makes no mention of roundabouts or traffic circles. The ones I pass through most often do not have a sign either.

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1490LMT 1450LMT 295w

Roundabout

The very first roundabout I ever saw was in Indianapolis, Indiana at the intersection of Meridian St. and Market St. They called it Monument Circle.

Funny Story

Many many years ago I was in Paris, and ended up at the Arc de Triomphe roundabout. I consider myself a good driver and I'm experienced in extremely heavy city traffic.

Well I entered that roundabout and just coudn't get out, almost soiled myself a few times.

Here's a Youtube video on current traffic flow.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BliGIPQ_KHc

My advice, STAY AWAy at all costs.

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Nuvi 660 2460LMT Sold My 765T

Griswold?

muell9k wrote:

Well I entered that roundabout and just coudn't get out, almost soiled myself a few times.

Ever see European Vacation with Chevy Chase?

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NUVI40 Kingsport TN

Wisconsin

Wisconsin is getting into roundabouts big time. When I lived in Sun Prairie we would go through 3 of them just going to the grocery store.

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Garmin Nuvi 2450

not new

pwohlrab wrote:
ChefDon16 wrote:

Our town uses roundabouts for traffic abatement and they cause more problems with traffic congestion, near misses, etc than what could have been taken care of by easier and safer means. They are not for me!

Roundabouts are new and a lot of people are confused as to how they work. This creates what you are seeing.

roundabouts/circles/rotaries are not new in the US, they have been around for quite a while, they just haven't been embraces as much as recently. New York had one in Latham NY for decades, New Jersey has had them for as long.

varying regulations...

I'm not 100% sure, but I believe here in the states there are differences as to who has the right-of-way with the traffic circles (or roundabouts). Some states say cars entering have the right of way, while others say the cars in the circle do. This may no longer be the way it is, but it once was this way. Many I've been involved with seem to be that the car going the fastest has the right of way, meaning you take your life in your hands there....LOL

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Garmin Nuvi 885T

redesigned HHI ones

Several years ago, the HH roundabouts were redesigned, which made them even better. No traffic tieups going onto Pope Avenue, or Sea Pines. I am a big fan of them too, and glad to see more and more of them. BTW, I still like calling them traffic circles, so I have my GPS saying "traffic circle" instead of "roundabout".

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Unless you are the lead sled dog, the view never changes. I is retard... every day is Saturday! I still own the StreetPilot c340, and the Garmin Nuvi 765t, but upgraded to the NO "recalculating", 3590 LMT.

Cape Cod roundabouts - a game of chicken!

There are two 4-lane roads into Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Where each road crosses the Cape Cod Canal there are two large bridges, and to the south of the bridges there are roundabouts. There is heavy traffic on the 4-lane with light traffic on the side roads. A steep downgrade from the bridges makes things worse. The usual speed is 60 mph.

The traffic just flows constantly along the 4-lane around the outside of the roundabouts and back into the 4-lane. Anybody on the side roads has to force his way into traffic in a game of chicken. The roundabouts have two lanes - more dangerous than a single lane.

There may be a place for roundabouts but this isn't it.

dobs108 smile

Roundabouts in Illinois

spokybob wrote:

My Illinois Rules of the Road booklet makes no mention of roundabouts or traffic circles. The ones I pass through most often do not have a sign either.

Illinois is said to be expanding its use of roundabouts. They put one in about 5 miles from where I live in Illinois a couple of years ago. It has noticeably cut down on delays at rush hour compared to 4-way stops. Roundabouts are not faster than traffic lights but can be lower impact, and I think they work well where there's not enough traffic for a traffic light most of the time.

The one thing I hate about them: drivers new to roundabouts and using a cell phone: an accident waiting to happen.

Mt Horeb

jfossy wrote:

Wisconsin is getting into roundabouts big time.

They have four on the 151 business route. They are very tight, meaning that a semi trailer would be on the curbs. Two of the circles have nearly zero cross traffic and the bypass has light traffic as well. What a waste! The snowplows can't/don't clean out the circle either.

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1490LMT 1450LMT 295w

Sounds about right!

yank51 wrote:

Many I've been involved with seem to be that the car going the fastest has the right of way, meaning you take your life in your hands there...

That's how it seems to work with the few around here.

My first exposure to roundabouts was 25 years ago, in England, on a 3 week TDY in the USAF - driving a full size, 4-door Dodge pickup, left hand drive, on the "other" side of the road, trying to navigate roundabouts on RAF Mildenhall. A lot of fun...

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The Moose Is Loose! nuvi 760

I am no fan around here

I am no fan around here there are to many agressive drivers

Roundabouts

They certainly are much better than the stop and go of stop lights but some of those 5 line wide circles in DC and other large cities are certainly "fun" to maneuver through.

Still a big fan, though.

Rotaries

When I was going to school in Cambridge,Massachusetts in the late 60's early 70's there was quite a big multi-lane rotary in downtown Boston. I think the Mass area used alot of them if I remember correctly, even up into Andover and Reading, etc. They have been building quite a few of them in the Indianapolis area where I live now. Alot of folks don't understand them, and still come to a complete stop before entering, EVEN though there is no other traffic in the circle.

Roundabout Safety

I attend monthly meeting of a group that has speakers from MODOT (Missouri Department of Transportation)and other agencies from time to time. The area MODOT engineer for our part of St. Louis metro is also member of our group.

They all insist that the accident reduction statistics strongly support roundabouts.

However, I do agree with “TheProf” that a lot of folks don’t understand them, and think that could be addressed with educational public service messages.

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rvOutrider

Roundabout Safety

Accidental double post and could not figure out how to delete it.

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rvOutrider

Love them

IF (and that is a big IF)they are used correctly, I love them.

I totally agree

rvOutrider wrote:

They all insist that the accident reduction statistics strongly support roundabouts.

However, I do agree with “TheProf” that a lot of folks don’t understand them, and think that could be addressed with educational public service messages.

I totally agree, it an education thing. We have a fair number of roundabouts in British Columbia and for the most part the folks here understand how to use them so it works out pretty well.

The State of Washington has put a roundabout at every intersection from the Canadian border to Bellingham and we're finding that the US folks are getting the hang of them pretty quickly as well.

Now if we could only teach the folks in Arizona to understand how to use the ones at a couple of exits off the Red Mountain Freeway in Mesa, we'd be set. smile

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Nuvi 350, 760, 1695LM, 3790LMT, 2460LMT, 3597LMTHD and TomTom XXL540s

Can be scary

Roundabouts can be scary and dangerous if they are not properly signed. The best one I've seen is on Dawes Road in Mobile. The signage is very concise and easy to understand. There are 6 entrances to the roundabout that are extremely easy to understand. I have seen a number of them that have little or no signage and I actually have driven completely around some of them before I realized where I was supposed to exit.

Traffic Light Equipped Roundabouts Exist

rlallos wrote:

We don't have many in Suffolk County, LI. Wish there were more. I feel there safer and move traffic better than a usual intersection especially one with stop signs. A plus? No RLCs.

In UK and Ireland there are roundabouts with traffic lights in congested areas. Sort of defeats the purpose. Where there is light, there can be camera.

Intersection Recall?

jfossy wrote:

Wisconsin is getting into roundabouts big time.

Is that because the intersection of two or more roads would be a "union"? wink

Heh!

perpster wrote:

Is that because the intersection of two or more roads would be a "union"? wink

GOOD one! smile

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NUVI40 Kingsport TN

Roundabouts - BAH!

I already know all I need to know about roundabouts. I know that I despise them.

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

Only

Only in certain states. LOL

round & round you go

I have no problem with roundabouts... just wish more people knew how to use them. The only time I've ever had a problem was driving in England... I was on the "wrong" side of the road & you go around the roundabout backwards! Talk about confusing... every time I made a turn my windshield wipers came on. LOL.

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"For those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."

Turns

drbillk wrote:

... every time I made a turn my windshield wipers came on. LOL.

I had a Ford Fairmont here in the USA that did the same thing.

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NUVI40 Kingsport TN

I personally love

I personally love roundabouts. Wish there were 1) more of them and 2) more people who knew how to properly use them.

Round-a-bout

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with:

1. Stop lights at busy intersections.
2. Stop signs at moderately busy intersections.
3. Yield signs at low traffic intersections.

But I guess a traffic engineer is like every other type of engineer, he has to pi--s on it and put his mark on it.

is it

perpster wrote:
jfossy wrote:

Wisconsin is getting into roundabouts big time.

Is that because the intersection of two or more roads would be a "union"? wink

a legal or civil union?

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"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. president

Why?

jackj180 wrote:

...

But I guess a traffic engineer is like every other type of engineer, he has to pi--s on it and put his mark on it.

Had problems with engineers in the past?

Wisconsin

There are two by Baraboo now and four or five of them in Mount Horeb between where you get off 151 on the east end of town and where 78 goes north. One of them has two lanes going in and only one lane where you come out, I almost got side swiped there once.

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Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

It's not the same.

muell9k wrote:

Many many years ago I was in Paris, and ended up at the Arc de Triomphe roundabout. I consider myself a good driver and I'm experienced in extremely heavy city traffic.

Well I entered that roundabout and just coudn't get out, almost soiled myself a few times.

Here's a Youtube video on current traffic flow.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BliGIPQ_KHc

My advice, STAY AWAy at all costs.

Notice that the roundabout is not marked with lane markings. People drive 3 or 4 side by side or any manner they want. It's chaoitic at best. If the RA is properly marked, it should work just fine.

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-Garmin Nuvi 760 & 765T-

Grand Army Plaza Brooklyn NY

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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.”

not really

borderntown NJ had one even worst

Tour de France

You can frequently see them in the Tour de France (annual bicycle race across France) just underway. I noticed two in the first stage yesterday near the end. There are many roundabouts in Europe.

Bicycle crashes

dagarmin wrote:

You can frequently see them in the Tour de France (annual bicycle race across France) just underway. I noticed two in the first stage yesterday near the end. There are many roundabouts in Europe.

I can see the bicycle crashes happening one after the other!

dobs108 smile

Multiple approaches

I find that roundabouts are especially helpful for intersections where the approaches are more than 4 or where the approaches are not at right angles to one another.

Don't know if this was the first in Calif.

Work began on the Los Alamitos Traffic Circle - its official name, though it hardly needs the burdensome nomenclature as it's the only major one in the state - in 1932, to assist the large volume of traffic expected for that year's Summer Olympics, which used the newly improved Marine Stadium as the venue for the rowing competitions. The first person to die from it was the designer.

There are 3 streets coming into this roundabout and if you don't know how to navigate it, you could be going around and around like Chevy Chase in European Vacation.

I now live in Arizona, where they are putting them everywhere.

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Larry - Nuvi 680, Nuvi 1690, Nuvi 2797LMT

I like the term rotary better

When I was stationed in Massachusetts many years ago, I became familiar with (what they call) rotaries. I had never seen anything like this before, but once you become familiar with them, they work pretty well. They keep the traffic moving and I saw very few accidents caused by the use of the rotary. They are starting to build these in SW Ohio, but the major problem I see with them here is the fact that they are not built big enough. The theory here is to try to build the rotary in the same space that the previous intersection took up. For a rotary to work properly, you need to take up more land and build it larger so the traffic can move more freely. Otherwise, they don't work as well or as efficiently.

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

I don't like them!

I don't like roundabouts. But then, the vehicle I drive is between 65 and 75 feet long, and when I'm in a roundabout, the tractor can be in the far right lane, and the trailer will be in the far left lane.

I have been through several roundabouts ON TRUCK ROUTES no less, and one of them isn't really wide enough for a truck, you WILL run over a curb at some point. It's been a year or two since I was through there, but I believe this one is on US 160 in Kansas.

Maybe they're OK for cars, although they seem to create confusion. In fact, the one here in Clovis, NM, had an interesting accident a while back -- see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jesf4xFOg1Q

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KD5XB in DM84

different things

maddog67 wrote:

When I was stationed in Massachusetts many years ago, I became familiar with (what they call) rotaries. For a rotary to work properly, you need to take up more land and build it larger so the traffic can move more freely. Otherwise, they don't work as well or as efficiently.

Rotaries and roundabouts are different animals from the traffic engineering standpoint. Rotaries are, like you stated, quite large and require more space than a normal intersection. Roundabouts are often used as "traffic calming devices" as their smaller diameter causes drivers to slow down in order to get through them.

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"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. president

Trucks stuck

We've got one of these atrocities at the exit of a major highway. When it first opened up, it was common for trucks to get stuck in it - it was too small for a tractor/trailer. Haven't heard much of that issue lately, I think the trucks stopped exiting there.

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-Quest, Nuvi 1390T

roundabout

One was built here last year. Its better than waiting for a stop light. But its annoying when people don't know how to drive in it. Had someone a few days ago stop in the round about when I approached it. Then would inch forward, even though they had the right of way.

Traffic Control Devices

It doesn't matter whether it is a traffic circle, a four-way stop or left-turn on one way roads. If only one person doesn't know how to use these things properly, it screws up everything.

I like traffic circles best when I'm the only one entering one!

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