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Roundabouts?
Old 03-14-2009, 07:08 AM   #1
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Roundabouts?

I'm curious how people on here feel about roundabouts. I never had to deal with them until the last year or so and it seems like almost every time I go to one someone cuts infront of me when they should be yielding. Anyone else have this problem? There will be major reconstruction of the largest highway near me over the next few years and included with that construction they will be building several roundabouts near where I live and work. I'm not looking forward to the new roundabouts let alone the 2-3 years worth of detours to go to work.
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:24 AM   #2
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I think they are great, but I've lived in Europe where they've had them since the late 60's at least and I've driven in parts of New England where they've had them for a long time too.

The little town I live in put it's first roundabout in about a year ago and of course it was chaos at first with no one quite knowing what to do. But it only took a few months for local residents to figure it out and traffic moves through it smoothly now 98% of the time. There were 5 streets coming into the intersection before and traffic lights made it time consuming to get through it. So it's great that no one has to wait for traffic lights anymore. Sure we get a newbie from out of town who clogs things up for a few seconds from time to time, but it never takes as long to sort out as it did waiting at traffic lights.

There are two more roundabouts planned for our town, and I'm looking forward to it.
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:36 AM   #3
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We have several with a few more on the drawing boards here in Dublin, OH. They work fine and save time, reduce accidents, and reduce the severity of those that do occur, take a little getting used to, but after a little time all goes fine.
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
someone cuts infront of me when they should be yielding.
And that only happens to you in Roundabouts? You should be buying Lottery tickets.

Anyway, I am in favor of them. I have a dread fear of someone running a Stop Sign and wiping me out -- had several close calls but so far...

I would like them at every intersection.
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:44 AM   #5
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Roundabouts seem to be the new trend in our town. I quite like them but it does take some people time to adjust.

Especially the retirees - LOL
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:01 AM   #6
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Great idea for low to medium loaded traffic. Loved them in the UK, hope to see more of them here.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:11 AM   #7
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We got one put in within the last 2 years. Thing already has some potholes.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:21 AM   #8
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They were ubiquitous when I was in Italy last month. I liked them.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:30 AM   #9
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Aren't there two modes for roundabouts?
(1) People in the roundabout have the right-of-way, or
(2) People in the roundabout must yield to anyone entering.

One is the English mode and one is the French mode.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:34 AM   #10
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Here they are (1) and lots of signage to that effect.
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The world's craziest roundabout....
Old 03-14-2009, 10:59 AM   #11
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The world's craziest roundabout....

is in my home town, Cork, Ireland. Its official name is the Kinsale Road Roundabout, but it's variously kwown as the Magic Roundabout and the Hairy Roundabout. It keeps several autobody shops in business and has inspired many a blog (the second link is particularly funny). It even has its own Wikipedia site. The complexity of the roundabout's design was a temporary compromise in a phased in ring road system.

A Langers Blog: kinsale road roundabout

The Sheila Variations: Asking for directions in Cork

Kinsale road roundabout - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I don't mind well designed roundabouts, but this one causes me anxiety every time I have to use it and indeed I have been known to go miles out of my way to avoid it. It is actually possible to get perpetually trapped there. Actually, Irish traffic has gotten so congested over the past 10-15 years that they have gone wild on the roundabouts and when you have gone through three or four of them just metres apart, your head and your car are spinning so much you don't remember where you wanted to get to in the first place!

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Old 03-14-2009, 11:02 AM   #12
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Lots of roundabouts in NJ...I was suprised to see so many when I moved here in 2001, but used to them now...
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:26 AM   #13
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Never really had to deal with them up in NY. Down here in Fla we have a few and it looks to me like enter at your own risk. I don't know how anyone would figure who was right or wrong in an accident. I guess it's cheaper that maintaining a traffic light.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:32 AM   #14
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They are a new trend here in MD. I think it's a conspiracy led by the road contractors. In many places, the diameter of the circle is too small to allow traffic to flow smoothly. I know of one location where they put in a roundabout at the end of an exit ramp that was causing traffic to back up onto the main road. They
had to add a traffic signal for flow control. They are also being used for "traffic calming" which seems to be effective instead of the speed humps they usually install.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:43 AM   #15
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I think they work well when people are used to driving in them. But when drivers first encounter them, they're often fairly clueless about the rules and the etiquette.
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Old 03-14-2009, 12:18 PM   #16
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I bought a Jeep, and when I encounter one I just drive straight on through.
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Old 03-14-2009, 12:18 PM   #17
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They have roundabouts everywhere in Europe and I don't mind them at all. Once you know the rules, it's a rather efficient way to handle intersecting traffic. The roundabouts I am familiar with are those where people in the roundabout have the right-of-way and people entering the roundabout have to yield to traffic. 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.
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:56 PM   #18
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U.S. roundabout design has evolved significantly since the Federal Highway Administration published design guidelines a few years ago. The so-called "modern roundabout" designs apply experiences from other countries and a growing amount of empirical research data.

Several state DOT's, notably New York, have further developed both the geometric design standards and the evaluation tools that help the highway engineers predict how they will work. Software simulation programs are also starting to catch up to what is available for traditional intersections, adding to the design certainty.

Done right, they are a big improvement from the old-fashioned traffic circles with a large diameter and a relatively high circulation speed. We've all seen those legacy intersections - they tend to have a history as a place for a statue of the town war hero. Then traffic grows and grows, but nobody wants to change things up to a better design.

The circles on neighborhood streets are almost always used as channelizing and traffic calming devices, not as an alternative to a signal. They aren't true roundabouts.

As a roadway engineer, I've got mixed feelings about their use. Safety - primarily the swapping of right-angle collisions for low-speed sideswipes - is the biggest advantage of roundabouts. But at major arterial intersections in urban areas, there's a real challenge in getting the additional right-of-way and driveway restrictions needed to make the approaches and departures work correctly.

For the right application, they are just great.
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Old 03-14-2009, 02:05 PM   #19
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is in my home town, Cork, Ireland. Its official name is the Kinsale Road Roundabout, but it's variously kwown as the Magic Roundabout and the Hairy Roundabout.
Wow! 85,000 vehicles using the roundabout daily. And they all drive on the wrong side of the road.
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Old 03-14-2009, 02:10 PM   #20
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I bought a Jeep, and when I encounter one I just drive straight on through.
As I was reading through the thread I was thinking about what I was warned when we moved to Texas - Seeing this response was perfect - I guess the same could be said for Idaho.

"When driving expect the unexpected, because although the Texans switched from horses to trucks years ago, they drive like they are still on horses"

PS - I love roundabouts
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