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July 2006

ALL ABOUT ... THE ROUNDABOUT!

An image depicting a roundabout traffic sign.The intersection of Marburger Drive and Circle Road has been re-designed and constructed to include a "Roundabout." Navigating a roundabout is easy. But because people can be apprehensive about new things, it's important that the campus community learn how to properly use the roundabout safely.

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An image depicting the counterclockwise flow of traffic in a roundabout.What is a roundabout?
A roundabout is a one-way, circular intersection without traffic signal equipment in which traffic flows around a center island in a counterclockwise traffic flow. Typical Roundabout (Source: US DOT, Federal Highway Administration)
All roundabouts have these features:
Yield-at-entry
Traffic entering the circle yields to traffic already in the circle.
Traffic deflection
Pavement markings and raised islands direct traffic into a one-way counterclockwise flow.
Geometic curvature
The radius of the circular road and the angles of entry are designed to slow the speed of vehicles.
How is a roundabout safely used?
It's easy! Just follow these simple guidelines.
An image depicting a 15 MPH speed limit sign.Slow down when approaching the roundabout.
An image depicting a crosswalk sign.Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists as you enter and exit the roundabout.
An image depicting a yield sign.Look to your left for approaching traffic and yield to traffic already in the roundabout.
An image depicting a one way sign.Obey one-way signs and circle the roundabout in a counter-clockwise direction.
An image depicting an exit right sign.Watch for vehicles entering the roundabout and exit carefully.
How do I make a left hand turn?
Left turns are completed by circling around the center island and then making a right turn to exit from the roundabout.
An image depicting a left hand turn in a roundabout.
Typical Roundabout (Source: US DOT, Federal Highway Administration)
How do I drive through the roundabout?
Driving straight through a roundabout:
An image depicting driving straight through a roundabout.
Typical Roundabout (Source: US DOT, Federal Highway Administration)
What are the benefits of a roundabout?
  1. Lives saved
    • Crashes are less frequent and severe.
    • Safer than traditional intersections.
    • Slower vehicle speeds (under 15 mph).
    • Drivers have more time to judge and react to other cars or pedestrians.
    • Keeps pedestrians safer.
  2. Efficient traffic flow
    • Increase in traffic capacity.
    • Reduction in pollution and fuel use.
  3. Money saved
    • No signal equipment to install and repair.
    • Savings in electricity and maintenance costs.
  4. Community benefits
    • Traffic calming.
    • Aesthetic landscaping.

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