The city planners in my town (population: 75,000 — and the ninth fastest growing city in the U.S.) love to construct traffic circles, or roundabouts. They refer to them as “traffic calmers.”
We have at least 16 roundabouts, with more planned.
They really do keep traffic moving faster than traffic lights do – and statistics show they result in fewer accidents.
After a traffic circle was built at the entrance to my subdivision, the traffic flow was much, much faster; no more ten-minute morning backups to turn onto the main road.
If you’ve never drive on them, roundabouts can be kind of intimidating at first.
All you need to do when you approach one, though, is slow way down, then look left. If nobody is coming, you can merge into the roundabout. (Nobody should ever be coming from the right!) If a car is approaching from the left, stop and wait — since you can’t predict whether they’re going to turn off before they get to you. When all’s clear, go. That’s all there is to it!
And they can even be fun, too.
The best time I ever had in a roundabout is when my friend, C, and I went garage saling one Saturday morning in an established, older neighborhood with the first roundabout in our area. To liven things up during our quest for treasures, she maniacally drove five or six times in a complete loop around the roundabout, until I finally had to yell, “Stop! I’m going to throw up!”
(Don’t try this in a heavy-traffic circle…)