Saturday, November 11All That Matters

CNBC – Roundabouts Are Safer. So Why Does The U.S. Have So Few Of Them?

CNBC – Roundabouts Are Safer. So Why Does The U.S. Have So Few Of Them?

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  • Jefffahfffah

    We have a few of these in Jersey but it seems like nobody in my neighborhood knows how to use ours.

    I also watched a friend from PA drive right into a roundabout, cutting off someone who had the right of way, and then say “Jesus, people around here just act like they own the road.” I then had to explain to him how a roundabout works.

    I didn’t realize these were such a confusing concept.

  • Nu11u5

    My favorite is when subdivisions decide to convert a normal intersection into a “round-about” for aesthetics. They just plop a 6 ft round median into the middle and call it a day. It’s still a 4-way stop and you have to squeeze around the corners.

  • Sierra419

    I saw someone stop and PUT HER STUPID CAR IN REVERSE in the roundabout by me because she missed her turn. Backed up the whole thing and caused an accident

  • CaptainHolt43

    They changed a 4 way stop by my house to a roundabout. It’s so much better now.

    In theory it should be safer, and it’s definitely much quicker but I feel like I’m taking my life into my own hands every time I go through. I’d say about 40% of the time someone pulls out in front of me and I have to brake in the middle of the roundabout. Other times people stop when nobody is coming. Chalk it up to growing pains.

  • varzaguy

    Did everyone in the comments miss the whole “rise of roundabouts” section?

    edit: The annotation can also be called ” Roundabout Renaissance”.

  • Hezekiah45

    In Mississippi, roundabouts are being built in out of the way intersections. I assume they’re a requirement in order to qualify for federal roadway funding.

  • iamthehob0

    In my area (in the US), they installed some roundabouts ~10 years ago. Everyone hated it and thought it was a terrible idea. A few years later, most people were used to it and the intersections in question were WAYYY easier to get through. Pretty nice in the end, even with early community pushback.

  • Boyiee

    People entering a roundabout here don’t understand what yield means or how to do it. Traffic in the circle has the right of way, traffic entering needs to yield. There are very few roundabouts in my area where traffic in the circle needs to yield, but it’s more a problem that people don’t understand what that sign actually means and always think they have the right of way.

    If I’m in the circle, hit me. I’m not stopping if I don’t have the sign.

  • fspaits

    We added more roundabouts a few years ago in Richmond, VA, and the city acted like it was an integral part of our local culture. The mayor funded a redesign of our city logo to even look like a roundabout.

  • phil_silvers

    Spent some time in southern France this fall and we rented a car. We maybe stopped at a stop sign twice. The only lights we came across were in small villages where there was only room (barely) for a single lane of cars to pass.

    Roundabouts are amazing.

    However the secondary highways can be unbelievably narrow and no one really slows down. Add motorcyclists who weave in and out of traffic at crazy speeds and it makes for some interesting holiday driving.

    But the roundabouts were fun.

  • Head-like-a-carp

    I don’t know this US person, but I personally love them. Once you go through the one day “learning curve” you will want them everywhere

  • Theinsulated

    I used to work for my state’s transportation department. Roundabouts were well liked and widely accepted as the answer to many traffic related problems however in many areas there just isn’t enough room for their larger footprint or the land is too expensive to acquire.

  • KittehKittehKat

    We have them all over in East Tennessee.

    But I really think they become worse than intersections when they are more than two lanes.

  • iusedtohavepowers

    Are they safer when you drive down a road that has 6 of them?

    Because that’s what my area of the US has done. Just 6 two lane rounds back to back to back and they’re fully packed at Rush hour. It’s like a game of Mario kart.

  • Plane_freak

    Bend, Oregon should be considered the roundabout capital of the US. There must be over 100 in that city alone. There are dog-bone style roundabouts where two roundabouts are linked. There’s 3 more going in on the west side on highway 20 and at least 2 on the Eastside of Bend. There’s single and double lane roundabouts. Last winter I chose a random street to go into town and I think I went through ~10 in under a mile.

  • haffi

    Roundabouts are fine for traffic flow, but a big drawback is that they are generally poor for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. In Iceland there are sometimes zebra crossings on each side of the roundabout, but drivers exiting often aren’t aware of them and blast through them.

  • gnapster

    In my car, they’re awesome. In my small RV they suck. Hard to navigate if there are multiple lanes and you realize ‘hey I’m in the wrong one’ even with GPS helping and your RV has huge blind spots and no one will let you change lanes.


  • chiksahlube

    Near me we have what I had dubbed “The dangerbout”

    It’s just a strictly worse roundabout. All the lanes stay independent but cross with yields at 45mph.

    There’s been 5 deaths in 6 years.

    It’s on a hill and it snows here. Those yields don’t stop shit, and the whole purpose of a roundabout is lost as the lanes intersect. So instead of 0 points of cross, or 1 point of cross, there’s fucking 4.

    T-bone alley, all to avoid putting in a proper god damned roundabout, which would work perfectly.

  • Cernunnoos

    The main problem is the difference between a “traffic circle” and a “roundabout”, they are not the same. In a traffic circle, traffic entering has the right of way while in roundabouts the traffic in the roundabout hs right of way. Circles get jammed up and a free-for-all while roundabouts run smoothly and orderly

  • Lawson470189

    I live near Carmel, Indiana (most roundabouts in the US) and it can be annoying sometimes. But compared to 4 way stops, they are a dream. I almost never need to fully stop even entering the roundabout off a highway.

  • phoonie98

    They’re building them all over the Atlanta metro. I personally love them. They alleviated a lot of traffic issues around my area. Wish there were more of them

  • Logical_Lefty

    I absolutely _hated_ roundabouts growing up as a kid. They have them in NJ and you’re trained from a young age to hate everything that comes from NJ (except their beaches lol). Then those roundabouts started popping up around my neighborhood, and at first, I was pissed! WTF are these stupid Jersey things doing in my nice state! Then I kept having to drive them and realized two things that completely changed my mind on them: 1) Theyre fun as hell to drive if you have a fun car and traffic is light, 2) they’re insanely more efficient and safer than traditional intersections which people STILL can’t manage to navigate simple “right of way” rules.

    I was completey wrong, and roundabouts are the way!

  • joshocar

    They work great up until you reach a certain traffic level and then they break down. It can become almost impossible to merge into one if there are high traffic and low traffic entrances and you are on the low traffic entrance. Cape Cod in Massachusetts has a few that get incredibly backed up in the summer. They are amazing for moderate traffic though, much faster then a traffic light.

  • B1GFanOSU

    I must be weird, since I have zero issues with roundabouts. They put one in a terrible intersection in my city and it’s made a huge difference.

  • mladenik

    Myth busters did an episode on roundabouts and proved that they are everything the OP said, Safer, and more efficient. I love them, but many people are not used to them and they are resistant to change so it is about ignorance and lack of experience with them IMHO.

  • andanotherone_1

    Less guns are also safer, so why does the US have so many of them?

    Its the same answer all the time.
    We’re fucking stupid.

  • stephanzumbuehl

    Every thing is not worth for every nation or situation, there are various aspects of any facility which are closely associated with it.

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