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Old 10-14-2015, 07:16 AM   #21
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But the rule is different in Boston area rotaries.... from my experience living in the area the more dilapidated vehicles have the right of way and new shiny vehicles are expected to yield (or they will no longer be new and shiny).
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:20 AM   #22
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Roundabouts are great provided at least these three things are true:
- rules for the roundabouts are consistent
- drivers understand the rules of how to drive in roundabouts
- drivers can actually follow the rules and laws of driving.


Imagine trying to navigate the above roundabout in the US
It was fun my first time.
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:47 AM   #23
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Do I read correctly here that the person on the roundabout needs to yield to new entrants?

If so that doesn't seem to make sense - out here (Europe) people on the roundabout have right of way, much safer.
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No, around here the person entering the roundabout is expected to yield to those already in the roundabout (aka rotary).
You guys are saying the same thing.

I'm ok with traffic circles - as long as they are well marked... there was one between Arles, France and Pont du Gard, France that we ended up going around a few times till we figured out which exit. It had 5 spokes and lousy signs.

It was definitely challenging to remember to circle clockwise when I was in Scotland.
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:51 AM   #24
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People IN the roundabout have the right of way. Coming into the roundabout must yield.

The nice thing is that if you mess up you can just keep going around again till you figure out where you're going; or at least until there's a break in the traffic
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:10 AM   #25
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I saw the MythBusters episode too. Have they taken in account the adverse health effects of blood pressure elevation every time one approaches one of these? Not to mention the expense of reconstruction and the expense of the upkeep of the plantings in the center of these things. How can a pedestrian ever cross one of these if the traffic never stops?

I do not like them at all.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:11 AM   #26
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I also love them. Even worse than newbie/hesitant drivers [are] the governments that don't know how to use the circles/roundabouts--our old town had one with stop signs on some of the entry points and, in one solitary instance, a stop or yield sign for the person in the circle. That is, of course, where someone failed to yield and plowed into my wife's car, which had the right-of-way entering the circle. In any normal situation, they were doing the right thing; they just didn't know the "special" rules for that particular circle....

(Still have fond memories of the Traffic Circle in Long Beach in the late 80's)
Count me among those that like roundabouts. But I also agree that there are people who have no clue how to navigate them. Was behind one a couple of days in a shopping center and the person in front of me in the circle stopped and let somebody in at each access point. uggg.

Lived in Europe a couple of times now and they're everywhere and pretty easy to navigate. But compared to here in Austin, the circles are larger and multi-lane and everybody knows you're supposed to signal when you're exiting the circle. Here in Austin they're small and are mostly being used as "traffic calming devices" to slow down speeders through residential areas..
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:27 AM   #27
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I've had five close calls. The cause has always been the same. ?
Maybe you should just avoid the roundabouts, that way everyone would be safer and you would be less frustrated.

There are lots of cars out there, more than ever before. We have to find a way to accommodate them all, even when a few are operated by really bad drivers.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:45 AM   #28
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My first encounter with a rotary was in the Boston area many years ago. Once I got unto it I got in the inner lane. Traffic was so heavy I couldn't get back into the outer lane to exit. Signaling did no good. I think I went around over 10 times before I escaped. My city has been putting them in like crazy. 5 years ago I don't think we had any. Now it is hard to plan a route to avoid them. I hadn't heard of the term "traffic circles" before but now I am seeing them sprout up in new housing developments, schools, and parks. I am guessing if it is one lane it is a circle and multi-lane is a roundabout/rotary? My problem is with people who don't yield and pull in front of you in the roundabout so you have to brake for them. People everywhere drive like their passenger is ready to give birth (do I sound old?). Anybody ever seen any statistics about accidents in roundabouts. Hopefully with slower speeds there will be fewer fatalities.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:51 AM   #29
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Maybe you should just avoid the roundabouts, that way everyone would be safer and you would be less frustrated.

There are lots of cars out there, more than ever before. We have to find a way to accommodate them all, even when a few are operated by really bad drivers.
Exactly, stoplights.
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:01 AM   #30
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My first encounter with a rotary was in the Boston area many years ago. Once I got unto it I got in the inner lane. Traffic was so heavy I couldn't get back into the outer lane to exit. Signaling did no good. I think I went around over 10 times before I escaped.
Yeah. We remember you! You were on the news!
C'mon, just kidding of course.
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:11 AM   #31
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Yeah. We remember you! You were on the news!
C'mon, just kidding of course.
Boston Charlie, he never returned.
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:28 AM   #32
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We're lucky. Today's cars are surface driven, so the roundabouts are only two dimensions. In the future, when cars are airborne, the roundabouts will be three dimensions and include height. Imagine getting, around, and then out of a giant traffic sphere.
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:36 AM   #33
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These are the roundabouts I have to use every time I want to go on the highway by my home. https://www.google.com/maps/@44.1564.../data=!3m1!1e3

Here's another example from the city just south of mine with twice the number of people(60,000). https://www.google.com/maps/@44.0111.../data=!3m1!1e3

I try to avoid these exits but you have to go quite a ways out of the way to avoid them.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:11 AM   #34
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Here's one of ours. Instead of being a standard roundabout, it's elevated maybe 50 feet in the air, which to me just makes it even scarier (plus, to me it seems like nobody yields to anybody no matter what). It has been there since 1957.

Wikipedia calls it a Three-Level Stacked Roundabout:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundabout_interchange
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:24 AM   #35
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In Portland one lane roundabouts are being used as traffic calming tools in residential areas wit a lot of commuter traffic. Works well for that purpose however multi-lane roundabouts are a nightmare IMHO.
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:14 AM   #36
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People IN the roundabout have the right of way. Coming into the roundabout must yield.
In France it used to be the other way round which was really confusing for folks from neighboring countries. In 2013 we spent a couple of weeks driving in France, in Lorraine and in The Ardennes, and in The Ardennes the approach to roundabouts still had reminders that cars IN the roundabout have right of way.

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How can a pedestrian ever cross one of these if the traffic never stops?
In the UK there are either pedestrian controlled traffic lights at the entrance to the busy roundabouts, or at a short distance away from the entrances to the roundabout with the entrances themselves having fencing to prevent pedestrians crossing, forcing them to use the lights.

There are also a lot more pedestrian bridges and subways on busy intersections.
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Old 10-14-2015, 12:07 PM   #37
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We have lots of roundabouts where I live in Europe. They work very well in general and have really improved traffic flow. They started getting popular maybe 30 years ago, so people now know how to navigate them safely. There is only one roundabout that I avoid around rush hour because it is nearly impossible to get in from my small street. Traffic from two busy roads pours into the roundabout before my entry point and rarely breaks, so one has to be very aggressive to get in. And yes, sometimes it means scaring off someone with a nice car to be let in.
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Old 10-14-2015, 12:16 PM   #38
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There is one roundabout near me in the suburbs north of Houston. It was just put in a few years ago when a new subdivision went it. Most Texas drivers like straight lines and this roundabout caused a lot of grief. It still does as I have to go through it to get to DD's house and many times people enter it without yielding for cars in the circle. This creates some scary moments.

At lease with a roundabout, all the accidents will be concentrated in one place.
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Old 10-14-2015, 12:28 PM   #39
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Most Texas drivers like straight lines and this roundabout caused a lot of grief.
We are very spoiled here across the US. So much open, available and inexpensive land has allowed us to deal with increasing population - and traffic - by expanding and building outwards, with endless suburbs with new roads and highways to connect them. We boomers are a generation of spoiled drivers.
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Old 10-14-2015, 12:53 PM   #40
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Swindon, England is the perhaps unfortunate location of the world’s most confusing intersection. To be fair, once understood this intersection is amazingly functional and actually designed to reduce overall congestion. However, it is certainly an urban wonder and highly perplexing to the uninitiated.

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