Traffic Cirlce Protocol

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by bomber60015, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    There is a simple roundabout I have to drive through every day arriving and and leaving work. All of us here at work call it the circle of death. Almost daily I see people driving the wrong way through it, stopping in the circle to let approaching traffic in instead of the other way around, or some asshole blazing into it and crashing into somebody else who had the right of way. There are several accidents in it per month.

    My only rule with it is not to get hit. Navigating it when it is busy ALWAYS ramps up my heart rate. I've actually gotten in the habbit of using the horn while on the motorcycle just to make damn sure people are watching me while I go through and I don't get plowed into by somebody blazing into it at 30 MPH.

    I think the biggest problem with this circle is that it is divided into two lanes, but it is on the small side for this. There isn't time to change lanes before you need to exit the circle again, so the lanes are essentially meaningless and people just dive into and out of whatever lane they feel like.

    The other problem is that this circle is heavily trafficed by folks going into and leaving the state's biggest public university hospital. This means that they A) are old and can't drive, B) are illegal immigrants and don't give a shit, C) have never been here before and have no idea where they are going and how to navigate the circle, or D) all of the above.

    Lastly this roundabout has crosswalks at every entrance and there is a ton of pedestrian and bicycle traffic due to being a college campus. Mix this all together and you have a nightmare.


    There is another roundabout on the other side of town that is roughly three times the diameter of the one I was just discussing, and it is generally only trafficked by people who know about it, and it runs VERY smoothly. There are also several in Payson AZ, which I visit a few times a year since my dad lives shortly north of there, and those all work really well too.

    In short, I like them when they work, and the people driving through them understand them. But make them too small, and in an area crowded with drivers who have no idea what's going on, and they are disaster zones.
    #41
  2. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    They put in roundabout near my home, and I tested to discover my maximum circular speed was 52 indicated. Then they spilled tar all over it and ruined it for me. I finally get a nice race track and they mess it up.

    Rod
    #42
  3. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    As a rider I dig traffic circles because nobody turns left in front of you, nobody can run the traffic light or stop sign to nail you and you aren't stuck sitting at a light waiting to be rear ended. Plus they are kind of fun to zoom around. As a guy in the highway biz it is all about reducing vehicle crossing points of conflict from usually 16 to zero. With nobody turning left crashes go from deadly head-on or tee bone crashes to the occasional fender bender sideswipe. Granted getting sideswiped on a bike would suck. But it still wouldn't suck as badly as being rear-ended, hit head-on or nailed broadside. As a rider you should have more control over not getting yourself sideswiped than the others.

    So y'all might as well get used to them because they really are safer than regular intersections. Wherever there is room and the right volume that is what the engineers will design. There is a rural intersection here that averaged a couple of fatalities a year from people running the stop signs. So MDOT built a traffic circle that you can't see past to block sight lines and force a slow down and turn. There have been zero accidents there in ten years. Not zero fatal accidents - zero accidents. The other plus is no backups like the four way stop and no more flashing warning lights to annoy the neighborhood. It just sits there doing the job not costing anybody anything and even looking halfway decent.
    #43
  4. Pantah

    Pantah Red Sox Nation

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    That is a good benefit right there for all motorcyclists
    #44
  5. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    so you say

    #45
  6. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    no, yer stuck at a yield sgn waiting to get rear ended


    I see roundabouts as a bottleneck
    #46
  7. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    In Europe there are definite guidelines about how to signal in roundabouts. People generlly do it right for the country they are in. It all works very well, much more efficient that everyone stiopping. In the US there are no guidelines, so almost no one signals at all.


    I do the English method of signaling, as it seems the most sensible, but I'm sure no one here even sees them.

    Just go fast so you can't get hit from the back, watch for blind drivers from the side, don't hit anyone in front, don't get stuck alongside anyone, it's all good.
    Beats the Hell out of the ludicrous four way stops we have.
    #47
  8. yosso

    yosso Been here awhile

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    43 and 96, I suppose?
    #48
  9. Tuna Helper

    Tuna Helper Rawrr!

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    Like I mentioned before, Once you go through them you learn "body language" for cars. Watch where the car is pointed, where the driver is looking, is the car more to the inside, or is it moving toward the outside of the circle?

    But then again, spending a few years in a semi helped me to fine tune my intuition on other drivers, I had a pretty good success rate at predicting what drivers were going to do before they did it.
    #49
  10. jamajo

    jamajo third wheel

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    They installed a 3-lane roundabout here earlier this year, at one of the busiest intersections, in a city that only had maybe half a dozen before that.

    I just heard on the news this morning that there have been over 70 accidents there since it opened, versus only 5 in a similar time period pre-roundabout. They are considering making some changes.:baldy
    #50
  11. kneeslider

    kneeslider Long timer

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    Most places the rule is the vehicle in the roundabout has the right of way.

    I believe most folks think its "first in, first out!"
    #51
  12. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

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    Da frozen tundra eh? 1.5 mile west of Lambeau
    And a distrubing portion of the car driving public here in Green Bay have yet grasped the concept of timing relative to roundabouts. Seen it often; driver approaches the entry at about the same time as another car approaches the circle entry to the left. Both are essentially evenly spaced at about the same entry speed. Yet, FIRST driver decides to WAIT until the other car comes around.

    NO clue at all that BOTH can enter the circle at the same time and maintain the same gap. In theory, that should work if four cars arrive at the circle at the same time. Its also why the entry speed is typically 15 mph and the entry to the circle is on a slight angle. But too many drivers around here think it's "polite" to wait for the car to their left.

    So I am always cautious approaching a roundabout entry with a vehicle in front of me. Too many times that vehicle suddenly stops when there was plenty of time/space available.
    #52
  13. GDI

    GDI Adventurer

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    Yah, except lotsa times the driver approaching from the left isn't doing 15mph. They're doing 25mph! Why slow down when they're just going straight through the other side?

    Count me among those who stop. I've got a lot more to lose than they do.

    GDI
    #53
  14. PT Rider

    PT Rider Been here awhile

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    I only signal (left signal) when I intend to drive around past the most commonly used entry where cars are waiting to enter. Other signals can be misleading--the exits are too close together. One time I had to circle 270° to get to my exit, and the woman waiting to enter looked to her right (!) then started to enter too close in front of me. My FIAMM Freeway Blaster horns angled to the right of my bike worked very well.

    When about to enter, I watch the direction the front wheels point on the car coming toward me--if angled left, they're exiting and I can enter.

    I saw one series of wrecks...one car didn't know where they wanted to exit and stopped. The following car hit them. The next car hit them. I stopped clear.

    A motorcycle rider crashed on a local roundabout when he hit a coyote that didn't obey the Yield sign.
    #54
  15. PT Rider

    PT Rider Been here awhile

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    I only signal (left signal) when I intend to drive around past the most commonly used entry where cars are waiting to enter. Other signals can be misleading--the exits are too close together. One time I had to circle 270° to get to my exit, and the woman waiting to enter looked to her right (!) then started to enter too close in front of me. My FIAMM Freeway Blaster horns angled to the right of my bike worked very well.

    When about to enter, I watch the direction the front wheels point on the car coming toward me--if angled left, they're exiting and I can enter.

    I saw one series of wrecks...one car didn't know where they wanted to exit and stopped. The following car hit them. The next car hit them. I stopped clear.

    A motorcycle rider crashed on a local roundabout when he hit a coyote that didn't obey the Yield sign.

    I'm waiting for a group of riders to get on the circle and go round and round and round and round and round......
    #55
  16. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    Got held up at my circle today.

    Two cars in front of me entering the circle. Traffic in the circle.

    Bet I was stopped at least 30-seconds!

    :ricky
    #56
  17. bomber60015

    bomber60015 Anatomically Correct

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    The circle that had me asking the question was encountered by a first timer today . . . . outa state plated SUV halted until there was no traffic in the circle at all . . . . not entirely uncommon, but, er, inappropriate (there was lots of room for the SUV get enter the circle.

    The behemoth managed to travers about 100 degrees of the circle when the alert pilot spotted a car, stopped, at the entrance in fron t of them.

    Until this morning, I would have bet against a large SUV activating it's ABS at 1.73 miles per hour.

    I would have lost.

    And, yes, a cell phone was involved.

    Slight thread jack -- why would a company name their bloated pig of a vehicle "Armada." One could HOPE for a highly developed sense of corporate irony, I spose.
    #57
  18. R_Rick

    R_Rick Been here awhile

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    Up until a few years ago, Halifax (Nova Scotia) had what they called a rotary. The actual rule written into the DOT legislation was traffic inside the circle had to yield to traffic entering. It was like this for 20+ years until it was changed to a proper roundabout. Now half the population of the city yields when entering it while the other half jam on their brakes throughout the roundabout to let people in. I'll go though it in my car not on the bike.
    #58
  19. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    Come to Boston... You'll see conduct in the "Row-da-ree" FIRST HAND!:clap
    #59
  20. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

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    Da frozen tundra eh? 1.5 mile west of Lambeau
    Saw it yesterday in Depere WI coming to the entry of the roundabout on the east side of the bridge, we're on my bike. Line of slow moving cars in the right entry lane, because the mini-van at the front is going even slower than 15mph.

    She, in the mini-van (confirmed upon a later pass) turns right onto the rounder, and STOPS for traffic at the entry for the next part of the circle. Sudden brake lights/traffic stack up, at 15 mph, horns blaring. Yeesh.

    It really isn't that tough! But then, we're expecting people to THINK while they are driving.
    #60