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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Roundabouts - aka Traffic Circles - vs Traffic: Winning?

Roundabouts - aka Traffic Circles - vs Traffic: Winning? (Page 2)
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Doc HM
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Dec 13, 2019, 06:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Roundabouts are awesome. Except when you start incepting them.

You see the ladder fire engine outside the fire station top rightish?

My house is about three doors further up just out of shot. (really)

I get a lot of practise on that roundabout. It works a lot better than you would think.
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Doc HM
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Dec 13, 2019, 06:46 PM
 
Also
https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/videos...gic-roundabout
Unbelievably I entirely missed it. Slept right through the filming!!
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ghporter
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Dec 13, 2019, 06:47 PM
 
Changing lanes in an intersection is not mentioned anywhere in the Uniform Vehicle Code, going back as far as 1965.

I too was taught that this wasn’t kosher, but I can’t find any solid reference that says it’s illegal.

Here is the complete Texas statute, remarkably similar to the UVC except for a few areas where Texas is “different” (toll roads, etc.). There is quite a bit about roundabouts (rotary roadways), and the usual stuff about speeding, yielding, seat belts, and so on, but nothing about changing lanes in an intersection. Unless it’s worded so obscurely that I just couldn’t see it...

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reader50
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Dec 13, 2019, 10:27 PM
 
Some googling indicates it is indeed not listed as illegal in CA, though I could swear my original Drivers' Ed class said it was. Beware that "Unsafe Lane Change" is a catchall ticket, and you're likely to get one if there's any other traffic in the intersection. The local cop revenue officer will be happy to pull you over.

It does vary by state. Ohio is specifically listed as being illegal. Apparently others too, though I didn't find a list.
     
ghporter
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Dec 14, 2019, 11:02 PM
 
All lane changes must be done “safely,” and I think this is the key for driver training courses banning lane changes in an intersection.

For a new driver, intersections can be pretty confusing, so forbidding lane changes in an intersection does two things. First, it takes away the option to make a major error while trying to make sense of the intersection. Then it emphasizes getting into the right lane for what you plan to do well before the intersection.

Clearly, the idea of “planning ahead” has fallen out of favor in most driver training lately....

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subego
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Dec 15, 2019, 04:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Easier, because cars have to slow down anyway. In a rural and suburban setting, they are great: they are cheaper than traffic lights, little maintenance, and if you space them closely enough, they act as speed bumps (which can be desirable in suburbia).
At a traffic light, motorized traffic is instructed to come to a complete stop. If reduction of speed makes yielding to pedestrians easier, a speed of zero is easiest.

Other things which make it harder to yield are the increased attention required to make a turn versus traveling straight, the increased attention it takes to deal with a more complex street pattern (like a roundabout), and that people accelerate out of a turn.

Further, a motorist will be less inclined to yield if there’s another motorist behind them. The chief feature of roundabouts is they cause this very scenario.


I went through the links. Were they intended as general data on roundabouts? Very little had to do with pedestrians.
( Last edited by subego; Dec 15, 2019 at 05:04 PM. )
     
OreoCookie
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Dec 16, 2019, 12:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
At a traffic light, motorized traffic is instructed to come to a complete stop. If reduction of speed makes yielding to pedestrians easier, a speed of zero is easiest.

Other things which make it harder to yield are the increased attention required to make a turn versus traveling straight, the increased attention it takes to deal with a more complex street pattern (like a roundabout), and that people accelerate out of a turn.
But motorists don't always come to a stop for many reasons (perhaps because they are inattentive or they think they can make a yellow by flooring it. In any case, the data I have linked to seems to bear out my arguments very well, that roundabouts are safer in general and in particular for pedestrians.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I went through the links. Were they intended as general data on roundabouts? Very little had to do with pedestrians.
It was supposed to be general, but a few dealt with pedestrians explicitly (including 40 % reduction of accidents with pedestrians and 90 % less fatalities in accidents).
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Laminar
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Dec 16, 2019, 08:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
But motorists don't always come to a stop for many reasons (perhaps because they are inattentive or they think they can make a yellow by flooring it.
If the traffic light is yellow, pedestrians won't be attempting to cross in that direction, that's not an issue.
     
subego
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Dec 16, 2019, 01:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
It was supposed to be general, but a few dealt with pedestrians explicitly (including 40 % reduction of accidents with pedestrians and 90 % less fatalities in accidents).
Since it was posted in direct reply to a question about pedestrians, it leads to the conclusion they’ve been posted to support an argument about pedestrians, which forces the polite debater to go through link after link, spending large amounts of time searching for buried or non-existent data about pedestrians.

I’d like to see where the figures in that WDOT bar graph came from. It cites the FHWA and the IIHS. The FHWA appears to have a single, 20 year old, 400 page doorstopper, with no pedestrian data of its own, just cites from even older European studies. The IIHS’ own studies are strictly comparisons between single and multi-lane roundabouts. They come to the conclusion multi-lane is worse for pedestrians. The IIHS has a web page where they make some claims about pedestrian safety, but those are based on European studies, most of which aren’t in English.

Going through all this data, I have absolutely no idea how the WDOT came up with that 40% number.

If accurate, I’m not sure the 90% number applies to pedestrians. Most roundabout studies are about vehicles. I can’t assume it’s applying to all users unless it explicitly states it is.

I’m a little busy today, but when I have a chance I’ll dig up some links which specifically deal with pedestrians.


Edit: to be clear, the number for pedestrians could be better than 40%. The FHWA seemed to have evidence of this. I’m not saying I’m right, that’s for the data to say, but I can’t attach that number to either of the sources they cited... I should say numbers. I couldn’t get any of them out that source material, though I didn’t read all 400 pages of the FHWA doc.
( Last edited by subego; Dec 17, 2019 at 01:30 AM. )
     
reader50
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Today, 05:13 AM
 
An example roundabout in a town nearby. This used to be a normal intersection of 4-lane roads. With signal lights. Some misguided person changed it to a 1-lane roundabout, and narrowed both roads to 2-lane, by giving both roads wide bike lanes. Which I have yet to see any bicycles in. There are cross walks, but no stop signs to protect pedestrians. Or buttons to push, for the missing signal lights to protect them.



Note the elevated whatsit in the center, blocking driver view across. When I first approached it after the downgrade, I thought the road was closed with a barrier. Driving across that could cause serious suspension damage. Now I just see the fail.

The message seems to be: stay off the roads around here. It's worked too - I won't go that way unless I'm taking a picture. That thing is dangerous, and may be a deliberate choke point.

I'd be fine with a state proposition banning construction of new roundabouts.
     
 
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