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  1. #1
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    I love traffic circles.

    I've been trying out alternate routes around my neighborhood, looking for the least traveled streets, and the streets with traffic circles are definitely the motherlode!

    Some neighborhoods in my area in an effort to calm traffic, have been installing traffic circles at every intersection along some residential routes that commutters were using as shortcuts between main thoroughfares. Boy, do they work! Cars hate them and avoid the routes like the plague.

    On a bike, they are great. They parrallel very busy, dangerous streets for miles. No stop signs! And most are on narrow two lane streets which make it pretty hard to get around in a car, but its easy to fly around them on a bike.

    Alright, I know its not that big a deal, but here in Miami, rode rage capital of the US two years in a row, little things like this give me hope.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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  2. #2
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    what street is it that has those ?
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  3. #3
    Senior Member nick burns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
    Alright, I know its not that big a deal, but here in Miami, rode rage capital of the US two years in a row, little things like this give me hope.
    I wish the same could be said for New Jersey circles. They might work well in the residential settings you describe, but when applied to major roadway intersections, they seem to be a recipe for disaster. Due to the many accidents occur that within them here they are slowly being removed and replaced by light controlled intersections.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fordfasterr View Post
    what street is it that has those ?
    They are all over the place in Coral Gables.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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  5. #5
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    It all depends on the design speed and number of lanes. A tight-radius 15mph traffic circle with 3 or 4 two-lane arms is generally good for cycling, but a high-speed multilaner is a deathtrap.
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  6. #6
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    Yeah, traffic circles with no traffic lights are great for two lane roads. In philadelphia we have a couple trafficlight-regulated traffic circles. They're not all that convenient.
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  7. #7
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cerewa View Post
    Yeah, traffic circles with no traffic lights are great for two lane roads. In philadelphia we have a couple trafficlight-regulated traffic circles. They're not all that convenient.
    Yep. That Art Museum Circle is almost as bad as the NJ Circles that I experienced driving to the Shore. Certainly no fun for cyclists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cerewa View Post
    Yeah, traffic circles with no traffic lights are great for two lane roads. In philadelphia we have a couple trafficlight-regulated traffic circles. They're not all that convenient.
    I imagine I'm being naive here, but don't traffic lights utterly defeat the purpose of the traffic circle?

  9. #9
    Upright bars SirMike1983's Avatar
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    There are a number of those in DC, but some can actually be quite dangerous. The smaller ones aren't bad though. The problem most often is that potholes can lurk at the edges of the circles.
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    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    They are all over Europe. I think in the US, drivers need each intersections to be controlled--- there is too much thinking (apparently) for US drivers to realize they need to yield to people already in the circle.

    Quote Originally Posted by nick burns View Post
    I wish the same could be said for New Jersey circles. They might work well in the residential settings you describe, but when applied to major roadway intersections, they seem to be a recipe for disaster. Due to the many accidents occur that within them here they are slowly being removed and replaced by light controlled intersections.

  11. #11
    "Per Ardua ad Surly" nelson249's Avatar
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    They have installed some roundabouts here in Kitchener-Waterloo over the past two or three years. The chief difficulty seems to be that people in this province haven't the foggiest idea how to merge safely and no one wants to leave room for the other guy. As far as cycling is concerned they aren't too bad as long as people don't try to squeeze by you when you're charging through it at 35 km/h on the bike.
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  12. #12
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    Breckenridge has a newish 2-lane circle/roundabout at the north end of town and a traffic light controlled 3 way intersection at the south end of town. Traffic seems to flow a lot better through the circle than through the traffic lights, even if the occasional tourist gets a little confused by the circle. And yes, the circle is very manageable on a bicycle, it's a small enough radius to keep motor vehicle speeds down.

  13. #13
    Mister Goody Two Shoes KnhoJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep View Post
    US drivers
    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep View Post
    yield
    Non sequitur?

    Although I do love the traffic roundy rounds on a bike, especially taking a few laps at increasing rates of lean and speed until the cars can't keep up, they're a pedestrian brick wall if there's a lot of traffic. They eliminate access and mobility for those not fortunate enough to be able to drive or bicycle; can't say I like that much.

  14. #14
    Your scars reveal you tallard's Avatar
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    Oh boy, my first ever roundapoint was Place de la Concorde in Paris, multiple lanes and multiple streets and multiple cars. My hosts had mentioned it was quite the landmark and I'd seen movies where characters joked about going around several times before being able to get out!!!

    So when I got to it, I stopped and observed for a few minutes, looked at my map again to be sure I knew which lane to exit on, and entered the fray, woooooo! The traffic wasn't as nasty as I thought and although my 5th street exit was easy enough, I decided to sink deeper into the circle and went around with traffic three times, just for the heck of it! Then switched slowly to outer lane to exit. What a baptism.

    In Fort Lauderdale, they've just begun putting in roundabouts in certain neighborhoods. Oddly enough my problem is more often vehicles slowing too much rather than not yielding to me. "Merge" ability is definitely low in all of North America. I find many roundabouts in Canada actually experience people coming to a near stop before entering. Canadian motorists are a very polarized bunch, either complete brown nosing law obsessed fear mongering "stop for everything" motorists or back woods pickup driving distracted weaving incompetents. Canadian DOTs have become obsessed with pedestrian crossing rights (although motorists are allowed to turn on reds which is the worst situation anyway) and so motorists here spend so much time stopped and pedestrians are so bloody arrogant as to not even look before crossing!!!!! All this idling of engines is so bad for the environment not to mention all these useless stops/starts are real fuel munchers. I like the direction Switzerland took, switch off engine at red lights and trains.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
    Alright, I know its not that big a deal, but here in Miami, rode rage capital of the US two years in a row, little things like this give me hope.

    wow...I didnt know you were Miami, San Rensho
    Im still getting used to Waste Palm. I dont know if my
    skills are up to Slaughterdale or Die-ami yet !!
    I guess the circles are good then....In Jersey you will
    die a fiery, flaming death by venturing into them.
    I have trouble with them because the signage is confusing....
    Since there is no standard sign / symbols stuff can get sort of
    confusing trying to figure them out on the fly.

    Be safe !

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick burns View Post
    I wish the same could be said for New Jersey circles....
    When I moved to NJ and applied for a driver license here, I had to learn NJ traffic rules to pass the written part of the test... and boy, what a mess! The law about traffic circles is particularly baffling; it states that right of way in a traffic circles depends on the local traditions of that particular circle, or something like that. Unreal.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep View Post
    They are all over Europe. I think in the US, drivers need each intersections to be controlled--- there is too much thinking (apparently) for US drivers to realize they need to yield to people already in the circle.
    Yes, I don't know how we poor Americans get by without our European betters to think for us. *rolls eyes*

  18. #18
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    Lots of circles in DC. I just deal with them, or avoid the worst ones.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=- View Post
    wow...I didnt know you were Miami, San Rensho
    Im still getting used to Waste Palm. I dont know if my
    skills are up to Slaughterdale or Die-ami yet !!
    I guess the circles are good then....In Jersey you will
    die a fiery, flaming death by venturing into them.
    I have trouble with them because the signage is confusing....
    Since there is no standard sign / symbols stuff can get sort of
    confusing trying to figure them out on the fly.

    Be safe !
    I haven't biked in Waste Palm (I like that) but I have noticed that as soon as you pass the Broward county line into Palm Beach county, people actually drive half civilised! On the freeway, you don't have the self proclaimed keepers of the speed limit driving 54 MPH in the left hand lane. If you signal to change lanes, people actually let you in, as opposed to Dade county where signalling will gaurantee that the car in back of you speeds up and gets nect to you so you can't change lanes.

    But be careful biking in So Fla.
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  20. #20
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    The city here has been putting in many small roundabouts. Lots of drivers complain endlessly about them. I like them a lot, both driving and biking through them.
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  21. #21
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    I have to disagree with traffic circles, particularly on residential streets. Note - my experience of traffic circles as a cyclist are in Calgary and Vancouver (residential streets, mostly), and as a driver Calgary, as a passenger of a motor vehicle - all over, particularly in the UK

    Unlike the OP, I found that they are very nice for driving (no stops), and would choose to drive the quiet residential route with traffic circles over the busy commercial street with lights (13th ave NW - I think vs. 16th ave NW in Calgary). While the top speed as a driver was a lot slower (between 30-40 kph) on the residential street, compared to 50-60 kph on the main steet, there was no need to stop and one could coast constantly, rather than hitting gas/brake, and waiting multiple light cycles. Much more efficient on the gas, and much nicer on the stress levels.

    As a cyclist, there were a lot of problems. It was difficult to determine the destination of cars in the small circles, they never really slowed down to enter them, and it was impossible to tell if cars saw cyclists or pedestrians. My wife was hit in a traffic circle in Vancouver where the motorist just plowed into my wife, because she did not see her (she was pretty much in the centre of the lane of the traffic circle and got clipped by the front left corner of the car - no injury or even fall, thank goodness).

    I would definitely advocate for speed bumps at intersections over traffic circles - it's easier to tell where the cars are going, there are fewer yield/merge issues and they HAVE to slow to a safe speed (10-25 kph) to get through the intersection, no need for police intervention at all (unlike stop signs that are inefficient and require supervision to work).

    That being said, I'm glad you found a nice route for you in your city, I just would oppose putting more traffic circles in mine (I think there are a few in Toronto, but I don't pass by them frequently, as I usually take main roads.)

  22. #22
    Your scars reveal you tallard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=- View Post
    Im still getting used to Waste Palm. I dont know if my skills are up to Slaughterdale or Die-ami yet !!
    Ah, that's so cute, usually we say Snort Liquordale! Well I've not ever cycled to or in West Palm, but I've driven there lots, for work or for Comedy Club at City Place. Mostly I'm on I95, and it's mostly under construction, absolutely bloody annoying to drive in three 9 foot lanes. Somehow it seems that all that construction isn't even to improve the road infrastructure, and it's been like that for years now! But, thinking of it, I've yet to see any cyclists at all in West Palm, ever!!!

    I guess the circles are good then....In Jersey you will die a fiery, flaming death by venturing into them. I have trouble with them because the signage is confusing.... Since there is no standard sign / symbols stuff can get sort of confusing trying to figure them out on the fly.
    I've found that left lane guarding is common everywhere in South East Florida. I use to play a little game with them when returning from Miami on I95. I only did this to one moron a day, as otherwise it could have become an addictive game: after waiting eons behind a left lane grandpa, I'd eventually find a way to move right and eventually get in front of him (almost always him, I think ladies stay away from the left lane...odd...) And then slowly but surely, without ever using the brakes, I would gradually decrease my speed and amuse myself watching the rearview mirror as they slowed and slowed and slowed as well. It really took them forever to realize that I was slowing purposefully then they'd eventually go right and speed up, at which point I wizzed along, saluting them. I think most left lane grandpas don't even realize they're doing it, they're just distracted. My actions may jerk them into thinking: "Darn slow left laner" and then maybe they won't do it so much themselves...

    But back to the circles, I love them best when they're unsigned, it's the beauty of it, it weeds people out In Europe they're a "get in get out fast" thing. You need to be aggressive and mindful all at once! I think North Americans are EITHER aggressive or mindful but aren't able to combine the two, hence some of the circle missbehavin!

  23. #23
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    There is one traffic circle in a residential area near my house. I love it. Except that they are so rare that some people do not know to yield to traffic that is already in the circle, and of course to keep right. Also, Ive heard that the blind people don't like them. I also suspect that old folks aren't that great at deciding who was there first and behaving accordingly.

  24. #24
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    We have a number of traffic circles down near a dam near the lake. They are so confusing to some people I don't like riding through them unless there is no one there. I've seen too many people driving the cobblestones in the very center (not a lane), riding the outside lane all the way around or u-turning right before the circle (into oncoming traffic).
    It was probably intentional to try and slow people down even more but the huge signage and decorations in the circle so you can't see around it don't help bikers be seen since it is a 40mph road, another reason I avoid it with traffic.

    It has to be better then the constant ever single block stop signs I have to pass through.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by tallard View Post
    Ah, that's so cute, usually we say Snort Liquordale! Well I've not ever cycled to or in West Palm, but I've driven there lots, for work or for Comedy Club at City Place. Mostly I'm on I95, and it's mostly under construction, absolutely bloody annoying to drive in three 9 foot lanes. Somehow it seems that all that construction isn't even to improve the road infrastructure, and it's been like that for years now! But, thinking of it, I've yet to see any cyclists at all in West Palm, ever!!!




    I've found that left lane guarding is common everywhere in South East Florida. I use to play a little game with them when returning from Miami on I95. I only did this to one moron a day, as otherwise it could have become an addictive game: after waiting eons behind a left lane grandpa, I'd eventually find a way to move right and eventually get in front of him (almost always him, I think ladies stay away from the left lane...odd...) And then slowly but surely, without ever using the brakes, I would gradually decrease my speed and amuse myself watching the rearview mirror as they slowed and slowed and slowed as well. It really took them forever to realize that I was slowing purposefully then they'd eventually go right and speed up, at which point I wizzed along, saluting them. I think most left lane grandpas don't even realize they're doing it, they're just distracted. My actions may jerk them into thinking: "Darn slow left laner" and then maybe they won't do it so much themselves...

    But back to the circles, I love them best when they're unsigned, it's the beauty of it, it weeds people out In Europe they're a "get in get out fast" thing. You need to be aggressive and mindful all at once! I think North Americans are EITHER aggressive or mindful but aren't able to combine the two, hence some of the circle missbehavin!
    Thats funny.

    In Miami, its usually not the blue hairs blocking the left. In most cases its a Hummer or other gargantuan, expensive SUV. Miami is all about showing off and privilege and everyone percieves the left lane of the freeway the "prestige" or exclusive lane and thats why they gravitate towards it. "I'm entitled to the left hand lane because I have the biggest, most obnoxious, expensive car!"

    It doesn't even phase me anymore. I just go in the right most lane, where there is rarely any traffic and easily go 85 mph when the left lane is maybe going 60.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
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