October 2, 2019
Roundabouts have been gaining popularity in Louisiana over the past fifteen years. Statewide, 52 had been constructed on state or local routes as of February 2019, with 116 more proposed! Roundabouts are also called “continuous flow” intersections because they eliminate the traffic light and allow vehicles to continue moving, slowly and carefully, through the intersection. Safety is greatly improved as officials have documented large reductions in crash-related injuries or fatalities.
Even with the reduced speed, the throughput of a properly designed roundabout increases roadway capacity and improves overall traffic flow.
How to Use a Roundabout
Roundabouts offer improved safety over other forms of intersections because roundabouts have fewer conflict points, slower speeds, and offer easier decision making. Roundabouts improve pedestrian safety by allowing pedestrians to cross one-way traffic moving at much slower speeds.
Here are a few tips for driving through roundabouts:
- Slow down as you approach the roundabout.
- Look for pedestrians in the crosswalk and yield to them.
- Look left for oncoming traffic. Cars already in the roundabout have right of way.
- If you don’t see any traffic, keep moving. You do not have to stop.
- Do not pass cyclists in the roundabout; they are entitled to the full lane and probably won’t be going much slower than you anyway. (You were supposed to slow down, remember?)
- Use your right turn signal when you get to your exit. Yield to any pedestrians in the crosswalk and then keep on moving.
- Do not enter the roundabout when emergency vehicles are approaching – pull to the side. If you are in the roundabout, exit at your intended exit then pull to the side.
- DO NOT STOP IN THE ROUNDABOUT.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development provides a lot of information about roundabouts on their website. They describe benefits of roundabouts, differences between modern roundabouts versus older style traffic circles, a state-wide inventory of roundabouts (existing and proposed, list and map), and design guidelines for planners and engineers.
If you haven’t found the answer for your question please feel free to contact us. Our staff will be happy to help you.