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Old 10-14-2015, 12:54 PM   #41
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Here in central Ohio we're well on our way to having lots of roundabouts too.

I personally like them. And people seems to be getting used to them - I see fewer folks hesitate when they approach one.

Another benefit I've heard is that not only are their fewer accidents than at 4 way stops, but if there is an accident, they are less damaging (to people and cars).
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Old 10-14-2015, 12:58 PM   #42
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Another recent innovation (yes, I know roundabouts have been around a long time) is the "urban single point" interchange. They look like this:



and they work very well. We had one built at I-270 and Sawmill Parkway and it improved a pretty horrible interchange. They are now building them in a few other places around central Ohio.
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:34 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
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).
And a lot of the Massachusetts confusion is self inflicted as this Boston Globe article explains:

An unyielding situation - The Boston Globe

"[Massachusetts] State highway officials are aware of the yield problem. Neil Boudreau, State Traffic Engineer for MassHighway, experiences it every day on his commute to Boston on I-93. It's more of an issue for the state's older highways, he said. Although they have been upgraded to meet national standards for speed limits set out in a guideline Boudreau calls "The Bible," many Massachusetts roads "were designed for a different era."

Today, the Commonwealth builds roadways with a longer acceleration lane for drivers entering the highway. (Take, for example, the Big Dig.) The new onramps don't need yield signs because drivers going at the same speed in the same direction are able to merge easily, Boudreau said.

But as a result, there can be different rules for different onramps, sometimes on successive exits. At Exit 7 of Route 3 in Plymouth, the connection with the new, high-speed section of Route 44 features the newfangled onramps, but Exits 6 and 8 on Route 3 are old-style, with shorter acceleration lanes and a yield sign.

"It helps add to the confusion," Boudreau said.

***
Exit 7, Route 3 south, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday - A blue Ford Bronco pickup merges onto the highway, forcing the driver of a Subaru Outback to make way. The Subaru driver, unaware that there is no yield sign, honks in protest. The Bronco's trucker responds with a rude gesture, which the Subaru driver returns.

***" [End of Boston Globe quote]

At least the two drivers are communicating with each other.
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Old 10-14-2015, 02:11 PM   #44
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Something like this ? .

Don't much like them myself. Might be lower in cost than convention intersections ( no signals to install or maintain / ) .
No, nothing like that thank God
Like this, with one difference.

The center of the roundabouts are elevated with dirt. 10 or 12 feet high
Covered with grass and/or other plants. You cannot see traffic approaching from the other side.
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Old 10-14-2015, 02:12 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
Another recent innovation (yes, I know roundabouts have been around a long time) is the "urban single point" interchange. They look like this:



and they work very well. We had one built at I-270 and Sawmill Parkway and it improved a pretty horrible interchange. They are now building them in a few other places around central Ohio.
And, another variant that was amusing the first time I drove it: Diverging diamond, which appears to differ from the single point in that all traffic, even the through-traffic, switches sides of the road--so you are driving on the left (in USA) through the interchange. See Home - The Diverging Diamond Interchange Website
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Old 10-14-2015, 02:14 PM   #46
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OP, sounds like perhaps your city planners got suckered by a bad consultant. Is there any chance that some of these roundabouts are merely traffic circles? A traffic circle is a calming device plopped into the middle of intersections in residential neighborhoods to keep people from speeding where children play. A roundabout is a designed feature where turn lanes, special signage, striping, traffic volumes, line of sight, etc. are considered.

Roundabouts aren't exactly a panacea, but they excel when traffic volumes are moderate to heavy from multiple directions. The best example I've experienced was in Anchorage about ten years ago when they changed the worst intersection in town to a roundabout. Idle/stall time plunged from ten minutes to less than 90seconds during rush hour. It was amazing how a simpler interchange could improve congestion by nearly 1,000%. I've been a believer ever since (assuming they've been designed correctly).
Not traffic circles.
This
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Old 10-14-2015, 02:17 PM   #47
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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.
Couldn't agree more
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Modern Roundabouts
Old 10-14-2015, 03:23 PM   #48
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Modern Roundabouts

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that's interesting, in South Jersey they are getting rid of all our roundabouts (we just call them circles)
lol, can't help you with the tires.
That's a common myth. Older rotaries and traffic circles are not the same as modern roundabouts.
Many people confuse other and older styles of circular intersections with modern roundabouts. East coast rotaries, large multi-lane traffic circles (Arc D’Triomphe, Dupont Circle), and small neighborhood traffic circles are not modern roundabouts. If you want to see the difference between a traffic circle, a rotary (UK roundabout) and a modern roundabout (UK continental roundabout), go to http://tinyurl.com/kstate-RAB to see pictures. And here’s another site that shows the difference between an older rotary and a modern roundabout: http://tinyurl.com/bzf7qmg
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Not a modern roundabout
Old 10-14-2015, 03:26 PM   #49
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Not a modern roundabout

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Originally Posted by bingybear View Post
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.
Not a modern roundabout. It's called a ring junction.
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Old 10-14-2015, 03:36 PM   #50
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Roundabouts are OK. As long as we don't start building those "Jug Handles" that are common in South New Jersey, we will be fine.
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:08 PM   #51
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Maybe you should just avoid the roundabouts, that way everyone would be safer and you would be less frustrated.
What an incredibly intelligent statement. Michael, you are a genius
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:09 PM   #52
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Exactly, stoplights.
Thanks Jack
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:12 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
Another recent innovation (yes, I know roundabouts have been around a long time) is the "urban single point" interchange. They look like this:



and they work very well. We had one built at I-270 and Sawmill Parkway and it improved a pretty horrible interchange. They are now building them in a few other places around central Ohio.
Very interesting
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Old 10-14-2015, 05:04 PM   #54
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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.
It's curious when people say this. It's curious because you clearly trust a signal more than a modern roundabout as a form of traffic control and your trust in misplaced. The safety of either depends on you and the other person obeying the rules, except that in a modern roundabout the typical operational speed is about 20 mph. Your chances of surviving a crash at 20 mph are over 90%, but drop really fast and go to nearly zero around 50 mph.

First cost is the wrong way to compare projects. It would be like buying a car without knowing the fuel economy or safety of the thing, just its price to buy.
Present Value Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) is the best way to compare two or more choices. When comparing modern roundabouts to signals for a 20-year life cycle (the standard period), modern roundabouts usually cost less. Costs to compare include: first cost (design/land/construction), operation and maintenance (electricity, re-striping, upgrades, etc.), crash reduction (what’s your/your family’s safety worth?), daily delay (what’s your time worth?), daily fuel consumption (spend much on gas?), point source pollution (generated by stopped vehicles = health cost), area insurance rates (this costs more where it is less safe to drive). Each of these things, and others, can be estimated for any two choices and everyone near or using the project area will pay some portion of all of these costs.
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Old 10-14-2015, 05:08 PM   #55
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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.
All modern roundabouts, regardless of number of circulating lanes, operate the same.
The rules for modern roundabouts have been the same for years, and are unlikely to change, since most of them are related to the signs and markings, so they are the same everywhere. Yield means prepare to stop, and do so if the cross street (left of entry in a North American roundabout) has oncoming traffic. A solid white line means you cannot change lanes. A skip line means you can. Pedestrians usually have the right of way at legal crossings if it's safe for them to start crossing.

Specific to Modern Roundabouts are these four rules for motorists:
1. Slow down,
2. Yield to pedestrians,
3. Look left and yield to drivers already in the circular roadway (all lanes if more than one),
4. Signal your exit (keeps things moving).

Signaling left until you’re ready to exit will also help motorists not jump in front as you go around. At a multi-lane modern roundabout, like any other multi-lane intersection, motorists should watch for the lane use signs that tell you which lane to be in based on where you want to go. Like other complex intersections, sometimes only the left lane can turn left, sometimes it can turn left and go through, and sometimes it can go left, through or right. With multi-lane roundabouts entering drivers should yield to all lanes approaching them and not change lanes inside the roundabout. Single lane modern roundabouts are a lot simpler than signals and modern roundabouts work the same even when the power is out.
Picture diagrams from the MUTCD: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/htm/2009/part3/part3c.htm
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Old 10-14-2015, 05:08 PM   #56
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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.
Ours are one-lane and work well. I'm familiar with multi-lane roundabouts and concede they are much trickier.
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Pedestrian Safety at Modern Roundabouts
Old 10-14-2015, 05:13 PM   #57
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Pedestrian Safety at Modern Roundabouts

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How can a pedestrian ever cross one of these if the traffic never stops?
All modern roundabouts have median islands separating incoming and outgoing auto traffic. Pedestrians don't have to find a gap in two directions of traffic, just one. This is safer for pedestrians, especially for younger or older ones, because they only have to concentrate on one direction of traffic at a time. This is what is meant by two-phase. Cross the first half, pause if you need to, then cross the second half. On multi-lane crossings pedestrian beacons or signals are often added if the auto (or pedestrian) traffic is too numerous. The signals can also be two phase, requiring the pedestrian to push a second button when they get to the median. The median can also have a Z path to reorient the pedestrian to view oncoming traffic. Also, the signals usually rest in off, so they are only activated if a pedestrian needs the help crossing. This way only motorists that need to stop are delayed.

Modern roundabouts are the safest form of intersection in the world.
The safety comes from the ‘slow and go’ operation instead of the ‘stop or go fast’ way a stop light works. The smaller size of properly designed modern roundabouts is what makes them safer and keeps speeds in the 20 mph (30 kph) range. This makes it much easier to avoid a crash or stop for pedestrians. It also means that if a crash happens the likelihood of injury is very low.
Safety is the #1 reason there are over 3,200 modern roundabouts in the US today and many more on the way.
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Know your circular intersections.
Old 10-14-2015, 05:19 PM   #58
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Know your circular intersections.

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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.
Portland, Oregon, has only three modern roundabouts. One at Lewis and Clark College (Terwilliger/Palater), one at Airport long term parking, and one at the end of Yacht Harbor Drive. Everything else is a neighborhood traffic circle. Portland hasn't built any new neighborhood traffic circles in over ten years.
Many people confuse other and older styles of circular intersections with modern roundabouts. East coast rotaries, large multi-lane traffic circles (Arc D’Triomphe, Dupont Circle), and small neighborhood traffic circles are not modern roundabouts. If you want to see the difference between a traffic circle, a rotary (UK roundabout) and a modern roundabout (UK continental roundabout), go to http://tinyurl.com/kstate-RAB to see pictures. And here’s another site that shows the difference between an older rotary and a modern roundabout: http://tinyurl.com/bzf7qmg
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Old 10-14-2015, 05:21 PM   #59
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All modern roundabouts have median islands separating incoming and outgoing auto traffic. Pedestrians don't have to find a gap in two directions of traffic, just one. This is safer for pedestrians, especially for younger or older ones, because they only have to concentrate on one direction of traffic at a time. This is what is meant by two-phase. Cross the first half, pause if you need to, then cross the second half. On multi-lane crossings pedestrian beacons or signals are often added if the auto (or pedestrian) traffic is too numerous. The signals can also be two phase, requiring the pedestrian to push a second button when they get to the median. The median can also have a Z path to reorient the pedestrian to view oncoming traffic. Also, the signals usually rest in off, so they are only activated if a pedestrian needs the help crossing. This way only motorists that need to stop are delayed.

Modern roundabouts are the safest form of intersection in the world.
The safety comes from the ‘slow and go’ operation instead of the ‘stop or go fast’ way a stop light works. The smaller size of properly designed modern roundabouts is what makes them safer and keeps speeds in the 20 mph (30 kph) range. This makes it much easier to avoid a crash or stop for pedestrians. It also means that if a crash happens the likelihood of injury is very low.
Safety is the #1 reason there are over 3,200 modern roundabouts in the US today and many more on the way.
Hi ScottRAB, and welcome to the Early Retirement Forum.

I notice that all four of your posts (or is it five now?) so far have been rapidly posted in this one thread about roundabouts. Please introduce yourself to our members in the "Hi, I Am" part of the forum, so we can get to know you a little bit. Thanks.
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Modern Roundabout Safety
Old 10-14-2015, 05:22 PM   #60
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Modern Roundabout Safety

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Anybody ever seen any statistics about accidents in roundabouts. Hopefully with slower speeds there will be fewer fatalities.
Modern roundabouts are the safest form of intersection in the world (much more so than comparable signals). Visit http://tinyurl.com/iihsRAB for modern roundabout FAQs and safety facts. Modern roundabouts, and the pedestrian refuge islands approaching them, are two of nine proven safety measures identified by the FHWA,http://tinyurl.com/7qvsaem
The FHWA has a video about modern roundabouts on Youtube, or check out the IIHS video (iihs dot org).

http://priceonomics.com/the-case-for...c-roundabouts/
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