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Above the roundabout


Scott Andrews 03/28/2017 at 7:32 AM

Awesome picture!

Scott Andrews 03/28/2017 at 7:33 AM

But now can we get a tutorial on how traffic circles work? Obviously some of us need some help with it.

Brian Kappus 03/28/2017 at 7:43 AM

And apparently cross walks because the middle of the roundabout is not where you should be.

Scott Andrews 03/28/2017 at 7:52 AM

Baby steps Brian, Rome wasn’t build in a day.

Daniel 03/28/2017 at 10:31 AM

“There’s only one place you have to look when you are approaching a roundabout, and that is to your left to make sure there is a gap. As soon as you have that gap, you have the right of way.”

Randy Dittberner, traffic engineer with the Virginia Department of Transportation.

25th Street Mike 03/28/2017 at 2:26 PM

Brian and Scott you guys made my day. Thanks for your comments.

John M 03/28/2017 at 3:58 PM

@Brian – For real. I see way more pedestrian-caused confusion at this roundabout than driver issues.

Bryan Brodie 03/28/2017 at 4:42 PM

“There’s only one place you have to look when you are approaching a roundabout, and that is to your left to make sure there is a gap. As soon as you have that gap, you have the right of way.”

look both ways. if nothing is coming, enter the circle. the circle traffic always has right of way over the traffic wanting to enter the circle. if you have doubt, STOP. WAIT. when nothing is coming, GO.

The entire rest of the world has traffic circles and they work fine.

RVA has traffic circles and nobody can figure them out. Is it something in the water?

James River 03/28/2017 at 5:08 PM

Yield to the cars that are in the roundabout. I think thats the rule. No?

Professor Byrd 03/28/2017 at 10:50 PM

Bryan Brodie, your interpretation/advice isn’t exactly accurate. And James River, you’re probably mistaken as well. Why do Americans have such a hard time understanding roundabouts?

It’s simple: A motorist/cyclist approaching a roundabout only yields to traffic already in the roundabout if his/her entering would be dangerous or reckless. In other words, it’s all about “the gap,” as Dittberner succinctly stated. That’s it.

You should obviously slow down when approaching a roundabout, but you don’t necessarily need to come to a full stop. If you and someone else, say, 180 degrees away from you approach a roundabout at approximately the same time, it would more than likely be perfectly safe for both of you to enter the roundabout simultaneously.

I constantly see people in RVA holding up traffic to let others go one at a time through a roundabout. This is wrong and completes negates the intrinsic efficiency that roundabouts have over traffic lights. Please go back to driving school or visit Europe if you’re still having difficulties.

Liz 03/29/2017 at 5:38 AM

Bryan, I do think that there are many people who are not aware of how to use roundabouts (that one at the Alamo is particularly frustrating because many don’t know what to do when approaching). However, I will say that several of them in recent years (the ones on Marshall St) are more like pretty tree wells than roundabouts. THEY are the most frustrating to me as they do not appear to be true roundabouts. A four way stop would have been a much better choice IMHO.

Bryan Brodie 03/29/2017 at 1:52 PM

professor, note I said before “the circle traffic always has right of way over the traffic wanting to enter the circle.”

this is a true statement. I also said

“if you have doubt, STOP. WAIT. when nothing is coming, GO.”

so, if you don’t have any doubt, don’t even stop, just go.

thing is, on more than one occasion, as I approached this very roundabout, it was completely unclear as to the motivations of people in the circle. rather than risk a collision, I yielded until the situation was more clear.

I never said ‘always stop at a roundabout’

I lived overseas for 19 years where people with (supposedly) much less driving skills than here navigated busy roundabouts without incident. it was usually tourists going the wrong way that ended up colliding with some unfortunate local…

Jason S 03/29/2017 at 10:13 PM

This pic reminds me of gangs of New York, John M. is the Bill the Butcher of Church Hill:

tiny 03/31/2017 at 12:00 PM

People All others yield to traffic in the circle, look left, and merge when there is a gap. Repeat. Treating them like 4-way stops is super confusing and negates the purpose of the roundabout.

crd 03/31/2017 at 1:37 PM

The problem with looking left is that at the Alamo roundabout, I have to also look RIGHT as the people coming up Jefferson Ave., heading east, generally do not even slow down when I’m in the circle. Happened again yesterday to me, four cars came flying as I was rounding the circle coming from Alamo and trying to head east.

Eric Huffstutler 03/31/2017 at 3:55 PM

crd, I agree. I see it all the time with people blowing through the red yield sign on the power pole for traffic heading either up 21st or down Jefferson. I have even seen police cars not going through the circle properly nearly hitting cars. A red yield indicates that a driver must prepare to come to a full stop and yield to pedestrians and vehicles with the right-of-way.

crd 03/31/2017 at 7:08 PM

@16 thanks, I agree. I was coming from Mosby St., headed around the roundabout, and four cars came blowing up Jefferson headed east a few months ago. I came to a total stop in the middle of the circle, just sat there until they quit. I called the cops when I got home, and actually had a really nice officer call me back to tell me that he was sitting beside Alamo in his patrol car but had not seen anyone blow through – most likely, as he said, because he was in a marked car. I think maybe a call or two or more to the cops might be able to start something – any suggestions from you or anyone else?

Eric Huffstutler 04/01/2017 at 7:09 PM

@17 crd. We really have some bad drivers on the road who do too much freeform driving rather than abiding to rules of the road. That include police I see driving without seat belts, not using turn signals, not observing signs, and even talking and/or texting on cells. In other words, not setting a good example.

I am still an advocate for the state to give at least a written (computer) test with every driver’s license renewal. To do that every 8 or 10 years is nothing that should inconvenience anyone.


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