Roundabout, rotary, traffic circle

Hank

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These are showing up all over the USA, despite taxpayer and driver resistance.

I think they do have safety potential for motorcycles, since they eliminate the fatal left turn.

Apparently one engineer has made them his crusade.

Within thirty miles of my home are about five, including a brand new one just south of Seneca, Missouri.

https://priceonomics.com/the-case-for-more-traffic-roundabouts/

Apparently older circles gave entering traffic the right of way and it took decades to realize this is much more dangerous than yielding to vehicles in the circle.
 
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bamamate

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My city has been installing them as fast as it can. We even have 2 on a 4 lane state highway that runs through the city. They are working on one that they say will be elevated. Can't wait to see what it looks like. I love them. We don't have any of the more complicated multi-circle ones like in the UK yet.
 

GunNut37086

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They are popular around my neck of the woods as well. I love them when they're in places where people are reasonably intelligent.

The one nearest my house nearly got me killed a couple of times though. The entrances and exits have single lanes, but the circle has 2 lanes. After the 2nd time an idiot almost ran me over while trying to exit the circle from the inside lane, I learned my neighbors are too stupid to use traffic circles.
 

kpinvt

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We have one here a couple of blocks from my house that was put in about ten years ago to replace a narrow three way intersection. They work very well IF they are kept to one lane. My city put up so many directional signs in and around the roundabout it's sometimes hard to see oncoming traffic. I've seen out of state tourists try go left around the circle or use the raised center island that very long trucks need to use to make the turn as a passing lane. Most people get it.
 

mike5100

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I can't believe our American friends here are only now discussing the merits of traffic roundabouts. We've had them in the UK since about 1776.
Elevated roundabouts are expensive to build but are excellent for keeping the traffic flowing. The main highway traffic shoots straight over the top leaving local traffic and joining or leaving traffic to negotiate the roundabout below.
By the way I think the French still have the somewhat crazy system of joing traffic having right of way.
Mike
 

drdubb

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They are popping up on my town too. The first one was very small and two lanes. It was a mess. The signs were confusing. Changes were made and its better now.
 

davidc83

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They have been turning up around here lately. I absolutely hate them. I would rather have a 4 way stop sign or traffic light. The worst ones are the new one they built on Hwy 62 in Jeffersonvile Indiana at the new I-265 interchange-they put 2 of them in place (one on each side of I-265); however, they are 2 lanes in each direction, and the engineers made them too tight for semi-trucks (and just to the north is an industrial complex with hundreds of trucks moving in and out each day) and no extra space for the trucks-the trucks have to use both lanes to make it around the circles and car drivers are not giving them the space (words from my son who has to drive a truck thru this area each day). In less than a year since they have been in place, there have been over 100 accidents (before the roundabouts, they averaged less than 1 accident per month). It has gotten so bad, the Mayor of the city has asked for the State to re-engineer the roundabouts again (more $$$$$$$).
 

Hank

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If you check the link you will see they are not new in the USA, we just had an earlier bout with poorly designed ones that left a bad memory. There is one in Tulsa on Admiral that is quite old. I remember one in Waco, texas that is also a survivor from the early wave.

I agree that the one lane ones are ok, the multi-lane ones are too much for drivers who are texting, checking gps, putting on makeup, or drunk. Or stoned, I guess we need to start adding.
 

Woody

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By the way I think the French still have the somewhat crazy system of joing traffic having right of way.
Mike
The French are never able to do things in a logical fashion, so while you are right in that they have certain roundabouts where priority must be given to the traffic entering the roundabout (priorité à droit), the also have roundabouts where the cars on the roundabout have priority. Many French drivers are consequently uncertain as to when the do (or don't) have right of way.

The worst example I know of the French style roundabout is the Place de l'Etoile at the top of the Champs Elysées in Paris. While drivers are aware they should bo stopping for the traffic entering the roundabout, many try to cheat the system and call your bluff. It was nerve wrecking enough for me to go round it in a car, but I have no intention of trying it on a bike.
 

mike5100

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The French are never able to do things in a logical fashion, so while you are right in that they have certain roundabouts where priority must be given to the traffic entering the roundabout (priorité à droit), the also have roundabouts where the cars on the roundabout have priority. Many French drivers are consequently uncertain as to when the do (or don't) have right of way.

The worst example I know of the French style roundabout is the Place de l'Etoile at the top of the Champs Elysées in Paris. While drivers are aware they should bo stopping for the traffic entering the roundabout, many try to cheat the system and call your bluff. It was nerve wrecking enough for me to go round it in a car, but I have no intention of trying it on a bike.

I've got a film of that from the top of the arc de Triomphe. I will see if I can find it.
Mike
 

Gbjbany

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...... I would rather have a 4 way stop sign or traffic light. .....

The difference is do you wnat to keep traffic moving or do you want to calm it down - Roundabouts are meant to keep traffic moving , stops signs are calming devices

Except in some cases its both - How to confuse drivers 101 - note there are stop signs still on this roundabout (well its just an island really)

rbout2.jpg


In Sac they have some - i want to know who came up with the crazy speed limit advisory ! 17 mph



roundabout.JPG

BTW i should add i lived in the UK till i was 35 so i know how useful they are
 

stormrunner001

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bamamate, I used to live in Conway (moved to Tulsa in 2010). I loved the roundabouts while I was there. I had the opportunity to drive around Conway this past summer and the new ones installed after I left work great. I loved all the ones on Harkrider. They were about 75% complete when I moved. The people there also knew how to use them!

Hank, Tulsa is an excellent example of what happens when you have a nice roundabout with people who have no clue how to use it. The big one on Admiral is a death trap. There are a few smaller ones around town that I see people doing dangerous and stupid things in all the time.

I think roundabouts all boil down to driver education. They have been proven to make traffic flow better. However, if people don't know how to use them, they are useless.
 

Hank

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I read that unusual speed limit numbers get more attention for a while.
And of course some college towns are commemorating a football number.
 

Gibsito

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The difference is do you wnat to keep traffic moving or do you want to calm it down - Roundabouts are meant to keep traffic moving , stops signs are calming devices

Except in some cases its both - How to confuse drivers 101 - note there are stop signs still on this roundabout (well its just an island really)


In Sac they have some - i want to know who came up with the crazy speed limit advisory ! 17 mph



BTW i should add i lived in the UK till i was 35 so i know how useful they are

Ugh. I really hated those things. Can't remember which streets they were on now - D? E? I worked downtown for many years and always went out of my way to avoid that area.
 

Hank

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After some desultory research I have found the one on Admiral in Tulsa was built before 1949. That intersection was originally state highways 7 and 12, then U.S. highway 75 and OK 33, now Admiral and Mingo streets. I had little trouble finding fatal accidents there as far back as 1949.
It is really poorly designed! The circle itself is one lane, but the diamond around it is two. You have to change lanes to enter or exit the circle. You have to enter the circle to do anything other than a right turn.

It was built before this area was in the city of Tulsa, so either the county or the state built it.

admiral circle .jpg

Apparently engineers distinguish between "modern roundabouts" and "traffic circles". Traffic circles are the bad old kind.

I think from a motorcycle point of view the main fears are being rear ended while yielding, or someone merging into your side.

The Kansas drivers' guide suggests NEVER driving alongside another vehicle in a roundabout. If you guys ever watch the London videos of Royal Jordanian, you know how impossible that is in some of those crowded roundabouts. His skill is amazing.

There are several in my area now - northeast of Baxter Springs, Kansas,; near a casino on the tri state border near Joplin; and south of Seneca on highway 60.

I am thinking of doing a video on roundabout safety.
 
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AsureDawn

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I love simple, single lane roundabouts...when people know how to use them. They built a few in my area of Louisiana last few years, have had to blow the horn a few times (which both times resulted in the other driver stopping and looking at me stupidly) while in my car. You'd think they'd read up after almost having an accident a few times, especially since it's been there for a while now (edit: and, it's so easy).

They even have the little yield triangles painted on the ground, all fancy like. :/
 
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