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Old 03-14-2009, 02:34 PM   #21
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Only one rule for right of way in roundabouts "Tonnage Rules", per my BIL
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Old 03-14-2009, 03:19 PM   #22
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They installed two roundabouts on one of the streets I commute on. People are starting to understand that they need to stop for cars in the roundabouts. No accidents with cars but one morning I drove past a geyser where someone drove straight into the roundabout and smashed into the pipes that watered the plants in the middle.
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Old 03-14-2009, 03:51 PM   #23
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They were ubiquitous when I was in Italy last month. I liked them.
Oh yes, your trip to Sicily! And where's the trip report with pictures?

About roundabouts, they are everywhere in Europe, and also Australia and NewZealand. Once people know how to yield the right of way, roundabouts are more efficient than stop lights as you do not come to a complete stop.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:56 PM   #24
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I like them. Sometimes I go around two or three times. Like the revolving doors in office buildings. I don't worry about things like right of ways. For some reason people just seem to get out of my way.

Actually, I do like them better than the speed humps. But I agree with Jazz4cash. When they add them to existing streets they make them too small for the traffic to pass through safely.
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Old 03-15-2009, 08:59 AM   #25
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I agree with Jazz4cash. When they add them to existing streets they make them too small for the traffic to pass through safely.
I agree they don't work as well when they are small (diameter), but they are still quicker than stoplights no?
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Old 03-15-2009, 09:38 AM   #26
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In Angoulême space is very limited and roundabouts are tiny. Many have a center "spot" not over 2m in diameter, in which case they are just painted, not raised. They still work extremely well, though one has to make room for the buses to negotiate the intersection.
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Old 03-15-2009, 09:59 AM   #27
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Clarification on terms:

1. Neighborhood traffic circle, often used for traffic calming in residential areas with a grid street pattern:



2. Old-fashioned traffic circle (aka "rotary") on a major arterial. Note the approaches are nearly perpendicular and the approach legs may have stop sign or signal control. Statue optional. L'arc de triomphe, Paris:



3. Modern roundabout. These designs pay much closer attention to the approach geometry and use a yield sign. The operational challenge is to slow the entering vehicles down to approximately the same speed as the vehicles moving around the circle. The single most important factor is the approach road entry geometry, which should use a left-then-right wiggle ending in an approach that aims directly to the travel path around the circle:


And then there are those that defy description or categorization, like meadbh's example, Dupont Circle in DC and this one:
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:08 AM   #28
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I don't especially favor roundabouts, but they are really the logical way to get around landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, or the large statue of Robert E. Lee in New Orleans. I have become accustomed to them since I have driven on them for nearly a half century.

About a mile from my home we have one connecting several elevated roadways maybe 50 feet in the air. Now that one is pretty confusing to me due to the many (also elevated, and curvy) entrys/exits and last-minute signage.
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Old 03-15-2009, 11:09 AM   #29
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Roundabouts with 2 or more lanes are trickier and there are precise rules on how to navigate through them though many people tend to ignore those rules.
I navigated many roundabouts while I was living in France. The single-lane versions are great; the two lane versions are a nightmare if you get caught on the inside lane in a busy circle. I never did figure out what the rules are in this situation, except that whoever drives most aggressively wins. My solution to this problem was to always approach a two-lane roundabout on the outside lane. Now that roundabouts are starting to appear around here I'll have to dust off those old skills.
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Old 03-15-2009, 11:31 AM   #30
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Oh for the love of Mike! Are those really green flippers!! Spinning posts? Swindon has a massive auto pinball game? Does it chime and clang as you drive through?
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Old 03-15-2009, 12:02 PM   #31
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Good gracious!!! There is no way I would share this with our traffic planners, they take pride in being innovators.
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Old 03-15-2009, 12:03 PM   #32
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Angoulême? What's happening there? Care to share your story, Alvarez?

Thanks to Harry for sharing this wonderful roundabout!

LOL! I had to research further to find out that it is called the Magic Roundabout that can be a white-knuckle experience. Is it really a tourist trap concocted by the Swindon City Council? Well, they succeeded as there are many Web pages devoted to it.

The Magic Roundabout - Swindon's white knuckle ride! SwindonWeb guide




I just found it on Google Earth and captured a picture.

PS. Add Google Earth picture
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SwindonMagicRoundabout.JPG (214.6 KB, 4 views)
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Old 03-15-2009, 12:08 PM   #33
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I navigated many roundabouts while I was living in France. The single-lane versions are great; the two lane versions are a nightmare if you get caught on the inside lane in a busy circle. I never did figure out what the rules are in this situation, except that whoever drives most aggressively wins. My solution to this problem was to always approach a two-lane roundabout on the outside lane. Now that roundabouts are starting to appear around here I'll have to dust off those old skills.
This is how you are supposed to handle multi-lane roundabouts in France:

cours de conduite rond point dans les Hautes-Pyrénées (taxis ambulances autocars bus trains avions ) tarbes lourdes bigorre 65

Click in the various options on the right of the roundabout picture to see in which lane you are supposed to be depending on where you want to go. Options:

1. Tourner a droite (Turn right)
2. Aller tout droit (Go straight)
3. Tourner a gauche (Turn Left)
4. Faire un demi-tour (U-turn)
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Old 03-15-2009, 12:35 PM   #34
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Good gracious!!! There is no way I would share this with our traffic planners, they take pride in being innovators.
Not me, at least not to that extreme!

One of my career goals is to never have t-shirts printed that say this about one of my projects:

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Old 03-15-2009, 12:38 PM   #35
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I navigated many roundabouts while I was living in France. The single-lane versions are great; the two lane versions are a nightmare if you get caught on the inside lane in a busy circle. I never did figure out what the rules are in this situation, except that whoever drives most aggressively wins. My solution to this problem was to always approach a two-lane roundabout on the outside lane. Now that roundabouts are starting to appear around here I'll have to dust off those old skills.
If you go to England and ask for driving directions, be warned that the outside lane is the opposite of what it is here.

When we first moved to Houston from England I would ask directions then invariably end up in the farthest lane from my exist as I would instructions such as "Once past the Almeda Mall exit get into the inside lane for the exit you need to..."

In England the outside lane is the fast lane (closest to the median).
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Old 03-15-2009, 12:45 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Htown Harry View Post
Clarification on terms:

1. Neighborhood traffic circle, often used for traffic calming in residential areas with a grid street pattern:
We have lots of these, mostly installed in the past 20 years.


Quote:
3. Modern roundabout. These designs pay much closer attention to the approach geometry and use a yield sign. The operational challenge is to slow the entering vehicles down to approximately the same speed as the vehicles moving around the circle. The single most important factor is the approach road entry geometry, which should use a left-then-right wiggle ending in an approach that aims directly to the travel path around the circle:
I have never even seen one of these. But I am in favor of anything that will make it less likely that some drunk, old, distracted or stupid miscreant will ever again crash into my innocent a$$. So bring 'em on.

Ha
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:22 PM   #37
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That was a most informative post. A picture tells 1000 words. Thank you!
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:33 PM   #38
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About a mile from my home we have one connecting several elevated roadways maybe 50 feet in the air. Now that one is pretty confusing to me due to the many (also elevated, and curvy) entrys/exits and last-minute signage.
I can vouge for that. There is an elevated one close to the bNew Orleans International Airport that I went through a couple of times last month. The first time was heart-stopping... well, it doesn't help to be driving a $100k house while learning. After that, it was a "piece of cake."
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Old 03-15-2009, 06:37 PM   #39
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If you go to England and ask for driving directions, be warned that the outside lane is the opposite of what it is here. In England the outside lane is the fast lane (closest to the median).
I thought that I was being all-inclusive by using the terms 'inside' and 'outside' rather than 'far right' and 'far left'. So much for that strategy.
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:06 PM   #40
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I navigated my first traffic circle as an 17 yo new driver on a permit, near the Bear Mt bridge on the lower Hudson Valley. Piece of cake.
Then I tried the traffic circle near 7 Lakes Parkway in the same area. That was slightly smaller and a bit more challenging as the exits came up very quickly. I practiced a lot, since using it could have happened on my road test.
There were none upstate I knew of except Carrier Circle near Syracuse.
A very small (too small) one was put in near where I used to w*rk.
Realizing the locals probably never used a traffic circle , I avoided it like the plague. There were several accidents over the first year from people not yielding to the traffic already in.
I still avoid it if I happen to be going that way to get to the next town to the east in the morning or afternoon commuting hours.
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