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New Roundabout Danger

Just when you thought you had figured out how to drive in the Roundabout, something new pops up – PEDESTRIANS!  With summer weather comes an increase in pedestrian traffic needing to cross the street at the roundabout.  Let’s review the roundabout rules to keep everyone safe.

1.  YIELD -  You need to keep your eyes open and yield to pedestrians before you enter AND exit the roundabout circle. Remember, you only need to yield to traffic that is already in the roundabout circle. Look for a gap in traffic before entering. Once you are in the circle, stay in your lane, keep going and don't pause or stop. All traffic entering the roundabout must yield to you after you are in the circle. Forget the "yield to your right" rule. In a roundabout you are only yielding to your left when entering. But, watch for pedestrians when entering and exiting the circle.   

2.  PICK YOUR LANE & STAY IN IT!  Pick your lane BEFORE” you enter the roundabout.  You need to consider where you are going and then pick the correct lane. You aren’t supposed to be changing lanes within the roundabout circle. Do not merge lanes until you exit the circle.

Right Lane – pick the right lane if you are turning right or going straight ahead.
Left Lane    - pick the left lane if you are turning left or making a U-Turn. 

3.  SLOW DOWN!  Expect the unexpected in a roundabout – pedestrians, inexperienced drivers, lane changers, large trucks, emergency vehicles. Reduce your speed and stay alert.

Pictures are worth a thousand words so click on this link and watch the video “How Do I Drive In A Roundabout?”  by the Department of Transportation.  It’s short and quite informative.



Paul Durant

Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 12:23pm PDT

From a driver’s viewpoint (and a lot of roundabout experience in London England, Dallas, Boston, DC, Arlington VA and Grand Junction CO) the new Snake River roundabout isn’t too bad. I don’t recall any pedestrian crossing at any the others. It is too dangerous to have pedestrian crossings at the Snake River intersection. I suspect a lot of safe and sane drivers say “Whew, made it again” after clearing the circle.

Our local traffic engineers probably will say the signing is adequate. At least that’s the response I got regarding the west going entrance to Bryden Canyon Road from Eighth Street. By the time some of those drivers get to Bryden Canyon, they forgot the “Yield” sign.

Back to the circle/roundabout (the latter being British): It’s tough enough avoiding other car; to watch for pedestrians (and giving them right-away?) is crazy.