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The W - Random - Roundabouts
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Mr. Boffo
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Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

Since last post: 480 days
Last activity: 441 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.30
Hey, do you have roundabouts in your area? For some reason in the last 5 years the state of Wisconsin has gone crazy for roundabouts. Dictionary.com tells me that you may know them as rotaries or traffic circles.

I know they're pushing for them because the last time I got my license plates renewed, there was a little form in there about how to navigate a roundabout. Probably the same information they have online at http://www.dot.state.wi.us/safety/motorist/roaddesign/roundabout.htm .

I do agree that it's a good way to direct traffic when you have unusual roads connecting (more than 4 directions, for example). There are several places in the city where I would put them if I were in charge. But I know some people hate them. Thoughts?
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geemoney
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Since: 26.1.03
From: Naples, FL

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.62
I went through my first roundabout this Summer when I went to Buffalo Bills camp. Definitely weird. Other than that, I have no real opinion on it.
hansen9j
Andouille








Since: 7.11.02
From: Riderville, SK

Since last post: 8 days
Last activity: 17 hours
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.47
Regina has no roundabouts. Moose Jaw has one, though. Legend has it that the city planner got fired right before he was finished completing the city, so he intentionally misaligned the streets.

(edited by hansen9j on 26.10.09 1324)


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cranlsn
Liverwurst








Since: 18.3.02
From: Sussex, WI

Since last post: 16 days
Last activity: 14 hours
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.52

I think they have their place (Europe in my opinion), but Wisconsin has gone overboard. Anytime ANY intersection is being re-done, a roundabout has to be included as one of the options.

I fail to see how sharp curves, no stop signs + ice & snow is going to equal a safer intersection this winter. We'll see.

The one they put in in Oconomowoc actually had MORE accidents this year, and it's considered a success.
DrDirt
Banger








Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

Since last post: 29 days
Last activity: 30 min.
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.48
Used them in Ireland and Great Britain. Once you and others are used to them they are great IMO. We have several in Hutchinson and people bitch and bitch but they are fine and better than the two-way stop signs they replaced. They also slow down idiots at least for a bit.

The difference I have found between here and the UK is we need ours to be a bit wider to accomodate larger vehicles.



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Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 1 day
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
One county north of me, they started installing them all over the place instead of stop signs/traffic lights at a bunch of intersections and it seems to make it alot faster to get through. They haven't done it at any major intersections because they had the foresight to put over/under passes to avoid lights. They do have circles at the on/off ramps though.

DC, on the other hand, has some traffic circles that are the bane of my existence, like Dupont circle (where five streets meet) and Chevy Chase circle (where three streets meet, and one starts)

    Originally posted by DrDirt


    The difference I have found between here and the UK is we need ours to be a bit wider to accomodate larger vehicles.


At great expense, the county installed three in my neighborhood for traffic control. They kept them in for about five years before they tore two of them out and installed speed bumps so gentile that I can take them at 45 in my car (60 once on my motorcycle for no reason) before I actually feel it. The speed limit is 25, FYI. Only people cutting through for the first time actually bother to slow down for them.

They ripped them out because they put a nasty curb on the outside of the circle and a tree in the middle of them and emergency vehicles and anything larger than a SUV couldn't make it through. They kept one of them because it isn't at an intersection. It's just an oval shaped traffic "circle" on a straightaway. I assume they kept it because it will be the base of a pillar for the new ICC Highway overpass going by my house and directly over that "circle".

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(edited by Zeruel on 26.10.09 1548)

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Leroy
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Since: 7.2.02

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 1 day
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.33

When I sat on a Project Area Committee that sought community input on my then-town's redevelopment plan, they brought in a traffic consultant to deal with some seriously congested intersections. According to the study he shows us, roundabouts decrease accidents and fatalities by HUGE numbers - like 50% to 80% - while increasing traffic flow. There are some issues with them - mainly accessibility for the handicapped and visually impaired, but, over all, they're much better than stop signs or stop lights.

I think the main reason accidents decrease is that people are forced to pay closer attention to driving when they enter a roundabout - and the uncomfortable nature of roundabouts also tends to slow people down. People in my town HATE them, but I've seen them vastly improve certain intersections that were total messes, so I tend to favor roundabouts.

If you're even in Mexcio City, you need to check out the roundabout at El Ángel de la Independencia [JPG] - where they actually have traffic going in BOTH directions and meeting head on in two seperate places - with people trying to cross the street at the same time.



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emma
Cherries > Peaches








Since: 1.8.02
From: Phoenix-ish

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 1 day
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.44
They put a *pair* of them up on the north side of town on I-17. Basically, there's a lot of traffic that's northbound on I-17 & wanting to turn left onto Happy Valley westbound. So you exit, go up the ramp, go around 270 degrees, cross over the freeway, then go 180 degrees around the next circle.

Looks like this (mapquest.com)

I can't for the life of me see why this is any better than a classic cloverleaf, & it has to be much more accident-prone. Especially since this is a high-speed, freeway-related interchange. It's not like they're hard pressed for real estate up there! I hate having to go through that exchange, but there aren't many alternative routes.

My theory is that the AZ highway planners went to the same conference that the Wisconsin guys did, & wanted to incorporate something cool. Bleh.
supersalvadoran
Landjager








Since: 10.1.08
From: westbury, new york

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 1 hour
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.90
The only roundabout I know of on the island is when I go to Jones Beach and around the water tower. I find it fun and an easy enough way to connect to several different highways around the area, though it can be difficult to navigate when the beach is packed during the summer.

    Originally posted by emma
    I can't for the life of me see why this is any better than a classic cloverleaf, & it has to be much more accident-prone.


I really don't know if it's more safe than a cloverleaf, though I think I would agree with you on that. But having to deal with highway cloverleafs on a daily basis, I say that a roundabout would be far more convient to deal with, especially if you miss your location and have to make a turn. The cloverleafs are so restrictive (no u-turns, one ways all over, etc.) in where you can turn here, that sometimes you have to go for a mile or two and waste a good 5-10 minutes just to get somewhere that you normally would turn into a couple of seconds on most any other intersection. Very annoying and a bit wasteful on gas to boot.






AWArulz
Knackwurst








Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.62
there are a few of them here in the Louisville/southern Indiana area, but I first discovered them in Boston. some years ago, probably 13-14 years ago, I worked there for 8 months - and found them everywhere. Let me see if I can find the nastiest one

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Yeah, the 1a

(edited by AWArulz on 26.10.09 2047)


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Lise
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Since: 11.12.01

Since last post: 448 days
Last activity: 3 days
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.59
The most interesting reason I heard for putting them in is that they save gas, since cars aren't coming to complete stops.
Karlos the Jackal
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: The City of Subdued Excitement

Since last post: 37 days
Last activity: 1 hour
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.00
They put in a few around the community college, where a lot of the drivers tend to be inexperienced. According to the local paper, there are now more accidents than there were before, but they are much less serious than the accidents that occurred when it was a 4-way stop -- no head-ons or t-bones.

--K



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Sec19Row53
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Oconomowoc, WI

Since last post: 7 days
Last activity: 17 hours
Y!:
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.78
    Originally posted by cranlsn
    The one they put in in Oconomowoc actually had MORE accidents this year, and it's considered a success.

Yeah, but those were fender-benders, not t-bones. The biggest problem with the one they put in is that they made it a two-lane roundabout. That adds to the confusion, because you need to make sure you're in the correct lane depending on where you want to go. Aside from that, it's simple - yield to traffic on your left. Once in the roundabout, you don't stop.
emma
Cherries > Peaches








Since: 1.8.02
From: Phoenix-ish

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 1 day
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.44
    Originally posted by AWArulz
    there are a few of them here in the Louisville/southern Indiana area, but I first discovered them in Boston. some years ago, probably 13-14 years ago, I worked there for 8 months - and found them everywhere. Let me see if I can find the nastiest one

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Yeah, the 1a

    (edited by AWArulz on 26.10.09 2047)
Uhhhh ... Perhaps I'm unclear on the concept, but ... it's a roundabout with a street that goes straight through the middle?? What's the point of that? (I'm thinking there may be some sort of formal Computer Science semaphore/deadlock/gridlock problem intrinsic in that.)

The first one I ran into was in Philadelphia. It was in the middle of the city, There was something historical in the middle, which they probably weren't allowed to mess with. And some number of streets coming in from all sorts of weird angles. That was definitely a good application of the principle.
cranlsn
Liverwurst








Since: 18.3.02
From: Sussex, WI

Since last post: 16 days
Last activity: 14 hours
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.52

    Originally posted by Sec19Row53
      Originally posted by cranlsn
      The one they put in in Oconomowoc actually had MORE accidents this year, and it's considered a success.

    Yeah, but those were fender-benders, not t-bones. The biggest problem with the one they put in is that they made it a two-lane roundabout. That adds to the confusion, because you need to make sure you're in the correct lane depending on where you want to go. Aside from that, it's simple - yield to traffic on your left. Once in the roundabout, you don't stop.


I myself have had no problems with it...but I've been behind and seen plenty of drivers that just don't get the concept.

I've also seen a firetruck have to hop the curb because they apparently didn't make it big enough.

I think given enough time, people will catch on. I just don't think that they're the solution for EVERY intersection.
drjayphd
Scrapple
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Since: 22.4.02
From: Long Island

Since last post: 15 days
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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.70
You wanted the best, you got... Out of Context Quote of the Week: FROM THE VAULTS.

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    Originally posted by emma
    The first one I ran into was in Philadelphia. It was in the middle of the city, There was something historical in the middle, which they probably weren't allowed to mess with. And some number of streets coming in from all sorts of weird angles. That was definitely a good application of the principle.


There's a couple of those in some smaller towns in CT... for instance, Bethel (I think) has a gigantic flagpole sitting in the middle of the road, so you just bend around it, turning like it's a roundabout. Stafford's the same situation, insofar as there's a couple of things sitting in the road. You just drive around them, everyone wins.





New for fall 2009: Moments In Random Quote Shame. From this post in 2004:

Well, why are we giving up THAT much for him? Rivers, this year's 3, and next year's 1 and 5? In the words of Anna Nicole Smith (according to Kathy Griffin), I don'like it. I would have rather seen us keep that pick and use it... on someone else (no, I don't know... maybe trade down) and try to get Losman late in 1 or early 2 (which wouldn't happen, thanks to the Bills).

"Him" = Eli Manning.
odessasteps
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 156 days
Last activity: 123 days
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.38

They have been all the rage in rural MD for quite some time now. Usually, they have replaced stoplights at questionable intersections.

I was intrigued to see a big, 2 or 3 lane style one in Miami/South Florida this weekend. Don't think I had seen one that big ebfore.



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ISSUE FOUR - OCTOBER 2009
samoflange
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Since: 22.2.04
From: Cambridge, MA

Since last post: 400 days
Last activity: 393 days
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.32
The 18 mile Boston to Bedford commute I used to do a few years ago included 4 rotaries. They are everywhere in metropolitan New England areas.



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dunkndollaz
Banger
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Since: 3.1.02
From: Northern NJ

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 2 min.
#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.27
We have quite a few of them in NJ. Circles are just another way not to turn left in the land of no left turns. The closest & worst in my area would be the Somerville Circle. Even with the 202 Overpass, there are still close calls & accidents galore.





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Tenken347
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Since: 27.2.03
From: Parts Unknown

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 14 hours
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.03
    Originally posted by drjayphd
      Originally posted by emma
      The first one I ran into was in Philadelphia. It was in the middle of the city, There was something historical in the middle, which they probably weren't allowed to mess with. And some number of streets coming in from all sorts of weird angles. That was definitely a good application of the principle.


    There's a couple of those in some smaller towns in CT... for instance, Bethel (I think) has a gigantic flagpole sitting in the middle of the road, so you just bend around it, turning like it's a roundabout. Stafford's the same situation, insofar as there's a couple of things sitting in the road. You just drive around them, everyone wins.


Well, that's because Stafford doesn't have a ton of traffic, and everyone's pretty polite about the whole thing. There's a circle up in E. Longmeadow which is incredibly dangerous. Most of the other circles I've run into are somewhere in the middle, safety-wise.
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