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Old 09-26-2013, 05:24 AM   #16
filmfan
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What I don't like about traffic circles is how unpredictable all the other drivers are. You invariably get a mix of timid and confident drivers, plus a few that are looking to take any possible advantage. They don't always mix well.

Our local community hospital has a couple on their grounds, which don't see a lot of traffic. I run through them occasionally just for fun.

Re the Magic Roundabout;
Do the small circles with the three arrows mean you can proceed to the left or right when entering?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aj Mick View Post
...Here is the Magic Roundabout in Swindon, which I first encountered when driving a large van towing a large trailer...... "Look out I'm coming through!"



http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...Roundabout.svg

I made it ok, but went back to check it out in more leisurely circumstances before I went through it again. Once I had sussed it the roundabout was not a problem. As with all matters motoring, it is just a matter of knowing where you want to go and planning accordingly. Most people who use the roundabout are locals who do so frequently, so it works well.... even allowing for the odd newcomer!
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:30 AM   #17
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They are building a 2 lane runabout on highway 171 between Joplin and Carthage. I think I will get a lawn chair the day it opens and watch.

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Old 09-26-2013, 05:46 AM   #18
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No offense, but if you guys are referring to them as "runabouts", I foresee problems.
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:58 AM   #19
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I moved to MA in 1990 and commuted for probably 5 years before I discovered the traffic in the circle has the right of way and are to be yielded to. For some reason I expected the vehicle entering the circle would have the right of way (I was a typical arrogant Cali driver). Anyway after a couple close calls, I figured it out and I am patient with them, particularly on my bikes.

Some traffic circles around here can be a bit hairy because they are relatively fast and crowded. And yes they are often referred to as roundabouts. In NJ they have roundabouts and jug handles.

I think the small circles in towns are pretty great because things keep moving, they are slow and it is easy to see intentions of people using them.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:21 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filmfan View Post
Re the Magic Roundabout;
Do the small circles with the three arrows mean you can proceed to the left or right when entering?
The Swindon Magic Roundabout is a large roundabout composed of 5 smaller roundabouts. Those circles with the three arrows signify the smaller roundabouts. You could avoid the cnfusion and yeild to the outside, treating it like one roundabout, or you could take a "shortcut", by hopping to the inside and essentially going backwards around the circle.

It seems really confusing (and I'm sure it is to newcomers), but once you study it for a bit it makes perfect sense.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:51 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah View Post
I moved to MA in 1990 and commuted for probably 5 years before I discovered the traffic in the circle has the right of way and are to be yielded to. For some reason I expected the vehicle entering the circle would have the right of way (I was a typical arrogant Cali driver). Anyway after a couple close calls, I figured it out and I am patient with them, particularly on my bikes.

Some traffic circles around here can be a bit hairy because they are relatively fast and crowded. And yes they are often referred to as roundabouts. In NJ they have roundabouts and jug handles.

I think the small circles in towns are pretty great because things keep moving, they are slow and it is easy to see intentions of people using them.
Jug handles are a great way to do a legal u-turn. It will be confusing to drivers new to Jersey since most main roads don't allow left turns. (Hence the jug handle)

I have no problem with roundabouts, been diving though a couple in Indiana since I learned to drive. They are smaller single lane ones, and one I would call a dogbone. (Two roundies, one on each side of an elevated railroad, with a short road under to connect them. Google maps 2599 pioneer st 46806 and youll see what I mean) You just have to learn to read "body language" of the cars coming from your left.
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:10 PM   #22
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There is a double lane one I go through every day.
The problem here is people exiting from the inside lane. NOBODY considers going around the circle again.
Lots of action there.
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:13 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by DADODIRT View Post
They're really not that bad. Sheesh. You'd rather stop?
Yield to traffic coming from the left. Easy Peasy.
Just like anywhere, the cages are out to get you. Watch your 6 so you don't get rear ended. Use turn signal to exit the roundie.
Don't ask the brits. They drive on the left.
:1

They've installed one in my town at an intersection near the hospital that used to be a nightmare. Traffic backed up onto the interstate, and everything.

It's one mile before my normal exit to get home, but since that's a traditional "merge into a stoplight" clusterfuck, I've been taking the earlier exit with the new roundabout.

It's great! No stopping, and I avoid the jam at my usual exit. Saves me several minutes over a 2-mile distance.

I was skeptical about the thing, at first, but now I'm glad it's there.

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Old 09-26-2013, 01:16 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by ragtoplvr View Post
They are building a 2 lane runabout on highway 171 between Joplin and Carthage. I think I will get a lawn chair the day it opens and watch.

Rod
The new one at the hospital in Fayetteville is two-lane.

Seems to work pretty good, though the police were on station there for several days after its grand opening to help confused people get through it!
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:46 PM   #25
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We've got 5-6 in the little 'burb outside of Madison where I used to live and my kids go to school. The first one showed up replacing a stoplight on May 28, 2004 (I just googled it). Prior to that traffic accidents were not uncommon at that intersection. I have maybe seen one accident since that roundabout went it! There are no backups all the time like there used to be. I'm in favor!

Now my parents--they shouldn't be driving anywhere near one. There's just a little too much going on for somebody who learned to drive before seatbelts were invented. . . .

My strategy for roundabouts is to get down to a speed where you can stop before you enter. That's key. Traffic shows up seemingly out of nowhere, if you're not prepared to stop, you're the one that's going to be at fault and hurting. Carrying a little too much speed as you approach in foul weather is a recipe for disaster.

The thing that I really don't understand is the multiple lane roundabouts. The inside lane seems to think, "I'm just going straight, no need to signal or check blindspots, I've got the right-of-way". Well, that's fine until the guy in the outside lane decides he's not exiting where you are, then there's going to be some pain! It seems to me like everything could proceed much faster and with less danger if roundabouts were limited to one lane?

Maybe I'm not seeing the big picture. . . .

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Old 09-26-2013, 03:49 PM   #26
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In the US the trouble with roundabouts (aka traffic circles) isn't about timid vs. aggressive drivers as much as the random assortment of people using them. In the UK, NZ and Oz everyone pretty much knows how to use the bloody things. You get some who are timid, some who are aggressive, some who just go with it.

Here in the US most people are just plain clueless about these things. Most don't know what the h*ll they're supposed to do, so timid/aggressive doesn't really enter into it. It ends up just being random behavior.
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:13 PM   #27
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I was on the inside of a two lane roundabout, in Lacey Washington on Pacific Avenue, able to go around or straight off the circle when the idiot in the bright yellow commercial truck decides being in the right-hand lane means he can cut left, in front of me and go around the circle.
Not. I end up on the ground sliding across my lane while he stops, sees me get up and then takes off, fricken ass hat.
Two guys stop, help me get the bike up--lots of damage but ride-able.
I don't mind roundabouts (or rotaries, as my wife calls 'em: she's from Boston) BUT I HATE THE IDIOTS WHO DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING IN THEM.
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:22 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Wdwrkr View Post
They have had them here (mass) for many moons, and they work well IMHO.... I actually prefer the smaller ones as I can see the whole thing. The larger circles make it harder to predict others behavior (again my opinion). The rules are simple as previously stated. If you are in the circle you have right of away (not that means shit when they are in a cage, and you're on a bike). I signal in traffic circles wether in a cage or on a bike, because I believe it's courteous, but many don't. I have three rules for rotories as we call them. Best to follow these rules in order.

1. Don't die
2. Trust no one
3. Dictate your actions. Timid drivers get hurt in these things

Remember you can always keep going around if a window doesn't open for your exit. It sucks but it beats the hell out of violating rule #1
They have put in a bunch of these on the north side of Indianapolis, and this guy's advice pretty much sums up the proper way to handle them. When I want a fun ride in the city and don't want to be stuck at stoplights, I actually prefer them.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:40 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cab591 View Post
The Swindon Magic Roundabout is a large roundabout composed of 5 smaller roundabouts. Those circles with the three arrows signify the smaller roundabouts. You could avoid the cnfusion and yeild to the outside, treating it like one roundabout, or you could take a "shortcut", by hopping to the inside and essentially going backwards around the circle.

It seems really confusing (and I'm sure it is to newcomers), but once you study it for a bit it makes perfect sense.
Thanks for this..... I was mulling how to explain things; no need to now!

The Swindon Magic Roundabout is not unique. There are several more in the UK, and I think France has some too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocker59 View Post
:1

They've installed one in my town at an intersection near the hospital that used to be a nightmare. Traffic backed up onto the interstate, and everything.

It's one mile before my normal exit to get home, but since that's a traditional "merge into a stoplight" clusterfuck, I've been taking the earlier exit with the new roundabout.

It's great! No stopping, and I avoid the jam at my usual exit. Saves me several minutes over a 2-mile distance.

I was skeptical about the thing, at first, but now I'm glad it's there.

Yup, this is what roundabouts are about..... keeping traffic moving. They are relatively safe as in the roundabout speeds are quite slow, with traffic moving in the same direction. Any bumps that do occur tend to be glancing sideswipes rather than full on crashes.

On a motorcycle you have the advantage of manoeuvrability and being able to look around. If you happen to get bumped hard enough to take a tumble, chances are you'll just dust yourself off and continue on. It is a different story if you are wasted during higher speed shenanigans at traffic lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirty_t View Post
In the US the trouble with roundabouts (aka traffic circles) isn't about timid vs. aggressive drivers as much as the random assortment of people using them. In the UK, NZ and Oz everyone pretty much knows how to use the bloody things. You get some who are timid, some who are aggressive, some who just go with it.

Here in the US most people are just plain clueless about these things. Most don't know what the h*ll they're supposed to do, so timid/aggressive doesn't really enter into it. It ends up just being random behavior.
We grew up with them, so they are second nature. It could take a generation and a bit of education for them to work where people are not familiar with them.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:56 PM   #30
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Drove through quite a few during a stay in the middle east

Oman to be exact. Guy on the inside has the right of way, which means you need to watch for him to blast out if you aren't him. So upon entering the circle you want to head for the inside lane. Blast in, blast out. Also spent some time in the UK. They also worked (except for the one time I got confused and went in the wrong way...dumb 'mercan...) Here in US, not so much. Someone mentioned random behavior - yup, that about covers it. There is one out in the middle of Virginia (somewhere around Orange?) and there was one in Belleville, IL. Dogs and cats living together.
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