VIDEO - Are Roundabouts Really Better Than a Traffic Signal?

VideoHere's another video from Road Guy Rob and this time around he's taking a look at roundabouts. He says that traffic signals are not scary but roundabouts can be, especially if you've never driven one before. Are these spinny circles really better that a traffic light or just a passing fad?

Here's a bonus video from the Minnesota Local Road Research Board dispelling 10 myths about roundabouts:


Separation of conflicts

The separation of conflicts with other road users, which doesn't get specifically mentioned, is what makes Roundabouts work so well - for everyone using the intersection. Generally speaking, drivers have collisions with what they didn't see (soon enough), not what they already absorbed, visually.

The driver can easily deal with the pedestrian crosswalk first (including pending cyclists using the same route), and then only has to ensure that anything coming from his left within the roundabout is properly yielded to (regardless of lane use). And if these roundabouts require pedestrians to take a few more steps, they should be grateful for the exercise. And their safety is actually enhanced as they will be forced to look at what the pending vehicles are doing, instead of blindly stepping forward on a 'Walk' signal.

If people can't deal with these things, they probably shouldn't be driving. Or walking, maybe ... 

Roundabouts are the best

I am a huge supporter of these "crop-circles"-  I call them.  Once you get the education of how to execute them, it's the best invention since slice bread.  It has been my experience in reading from all those who complain bitterly about others, who in their opinion, don't maneuver the circle correctly, it is the complainer who is in fact the negligent one who doesn't grasp the concept.  Unfortunately there are too many variables to the "correct" execution (like signaling etc) when in fact it's quite simple .... wait your turn!  Sometimes that requires you to STOP (yield) and wait for your turn but it would appear there are too many "know-it-all's" who have their own version of using roundabouts.  I actually attended a couple of seminars (if you will) that was offered to the public in my community (Chilliwack) by the district - free, of course.  This came about because the city had installed some two-lane circles and most of us were quite confused as to the correct use.  I also did a bunch of You-tubes to see what other offerings were out there to educate myself.  I did not think I "knew-it-all" so I set out to learn!  In the end, the simplest instruction that made perfect sense - WAIT YOUR TURN and when there's two lanes, enter when BOTH lanes were clear to do so.  I am a huge fan of the big and bold single lane version cause most people get that correct.   And for those who struggle to correctly use the circles yet blame everyone else for getting it wrong, I suggest you find yourself another route without a roundabout if the execution of it intimidates you to the point of panic.

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