Roundabouts, sometimes called traffic circles, are safer, more efficient, and environmentally-friendly than intersections with stop signs or stoplights. They are everywhere in the UK, so much that there’s a club for them. In this video we get to hear from their delightful leader, who goes by the title the Lord of the Rings. But the US has been slow in adopting roundabouts for several reasons. Many drivers don’t understand them at all, like the people who suddenly had to deal with one in Kentucky a couple of years ago. This video will not help you in that area, as they switch back and forth between British and American roundabouts, with people driving the “wrong” way in one or the other.
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But the US is slowly installing more and more of them. I hope road designers will learn from their mistakes. There is an interstate exit in my area that has low visibility and fast traffic on the cross highway. The reason for the low visibility is that the ramps had to be carved into rocky hills, and there wasn’t enough carved away. So they installed roundabouts, but still didn’t carve more of the rock away. Therefore, even though the signage is good and people know how to use a roundabout, the circles are way too small, visibility is still low, and those intersections are now effectively four-way stops. There are some kinks to be worked out before US traffic flows through roundabouts from sea to shining sea. -via Laughing Squid