Roundabouts are new…or are they?

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. Mike E says:

    Having come from the UK I love roundabouts and I’m very pleased to see them proliferating in Ontario. I’m also very pleased that they are implemented with a yield to the left rule unlike the bizarre way they do it in France which results in instant gridlock because no-one can get off the darn thing. I’ll even accept the Ottawa modification where motorists stop for pedestrians though I think it is always dangerous to have vehicles stopping on the roundabout (often very suddenly because they were looking for cars initially and then as they are exiting the roundabout suddenly become aware of pedestrians). I do, however, still use my indicators to make things easier for other motorists to predict my trajectory even though it’s not a requirement in Ottawa. I don’t indicate left on the approach to a roundabout (even though a Brit would understand the indication) however if I’m going beyond the second exit, I indicate left after entering the roundabout to show that I intend to stay on the roundabout and that doesn’t seem to cause any confusion.

    Roundabouts are safer than traffic lights and only delay traffic when flow is significantly unbalanced. In the UK the latter is addressed by peak-time-only traffic lights. Also the traffic lights are badly programmed here in Ottawa (the UK would grind to a halt if they used the Ottawa approach) so roundabouts save many hours per year from peoples’ lives. If the walk period has already expired prior to a vehicle triggering a traffic light sensor, the flashing hand period should start immediately but in Ottawa it seems that the sensor gets sampled at the end of the flashing hand period and unless there is a vehicle on the sensor it immediately restarts the full walk period. Not at all efficient and results in some drivers simply jumping the lights after they think they’ve waited long enough (something that I am not prepared to do and therefore it infuriates me when the “system” encourages such behaviour).

    Roundabouts are infinitely superior to four-way stops. I know Ottawa drivers are particularly dozy but so many people approach four-way stops and only bother to look at the other vehicles after they stop and therefore have no idea about who got there first or whose turn it is. Then they have to try to remember the rules about who they should yield to. Impatient drivers give them a count of three and go anyway because someone has to make a move, however that’s dangerous. Roundabouts also result in less wear and tear on the vehicles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *