Dubuque! Here’s How A Roundabout Works!
A few weeks ago I covered who has the right-of-way at a four-way stop. Last week it was how a merge lane, or a zipper merge, works.
I had a few listeners message me to suggest a couple of much-needed companion pieces to those articles. Apparently, there are other things on the roadways that aggravate other people.
Andrea suggested explaining how a passing lane works. (Who hasn't been there? I see people struggling with this every day on the Northwest Arterial!) Someone else told me to explain turn signals... but in this area... good luck!
Gabe said he'd like me to share some simple instructions on how a roundabout works.
While the classic tune, "Roundabout," by the rock group Yes is always a welcome treat, approaching a roundabout on your drive can be rather intimidating, especially if you're approaching it during a busy time on the road.
If you're not familiar, a roundabout is defined as a one-way circular intersection that's engineered to reduce congestion, save time, and maximize safety.
They flow in a counterclockwise direction around a center island and vehicles entering have to yield to both pedestrians and other vehicles already in the roundabout.
On approach, yield before entering. This means slow down but you don't necessarily have to stop. If there are no vehicles coming from your left you can continue moving into the roundabout. If there is a vehicle already in the roundabout or entering to your left, you should slow and stop if necessary until traffic permits you to enter.
Follow the roundabout until you're ready to exit. While you're in the roundabout you have the right-of-way, so if another car is entering they must yield to you until you pass them.
When exiting, use your directional signal to indicate you're approaching your exit (so people waiting to enter the roundabout know you're leaving) and follow the roundabout out and to the right.
Make sure you watch for pedestrians and bicyclists both entering and exiting the roundabout, as they have the right-of-way.
If you really want to be a roundabout geek, I would suggest watching this handy-dandy video produced by the city of Dubuque that really delves into using them. (Bonus... you'll also know what to do if an emergency vehicle approaches while you're in the roundabout!)
If you need some practice, I would suggest visiting North Grandview and University and continuing on to Delhi, North Grandview, and Grace Street roundabout.
And for those of you who thought I wouldn't give you a treat for reaching the end of my article, you're wrong!