Roundabouts, one wrote to the Troubleshooters team saying, “I can’t understand why it’s so hard to grasp”.
That driver, frustrated with other vehicles on the road, blocking the flow of traffic in front of him.
Donnie Tillman set out in this week’s Troubleshooters to find out how it’s properly executed.
“People do not know how to drive through a roundabout,” says motorist Phil Coffman.
Words that many drivers in central Illinois may grumble about behind the wheel.
According to the Department of Transportation, “A roundabout is a type of circular intersection … permitting traffic to flow in one direction”.
East Peoria Police Chief Steve Roegge says, “That’s how they’re supposed to be designed, so you can have a continuous flow of traffic. The idea of when five or six cars continues to flow into the roundabout, then it stops the other traffic. The idea is you’re supposed to have enough space in between each vehicle, that we have the continuous motion of people within the roundabout.”
However, some say the proper use remains a work in progress.
“It’s not a stop sign. It’s not go fast or one car goes through it doesn’t mean six other cars right behind get to go behind that person. Just teaching, just show people how it’s done, how it should be used — it will make a better flow or traffic,” Coffman reiterates.
Chief Roegge says roundabouts are designed to maintain that flow of traffic, you only stop to yield for incoming cars. Allowing enough space between each motorist, making these intersections safer and more efficient, significantly reducing the number of accidents.
Coffman says, “Look it up, there’s plenty of information out there that should allow you to understand the the concept of how to drive through a roundabout.”
While Chief Roegge adds, “The biggest thing is they say they don’t understand them. The idea is you’re just going into the roundabout and you’re able instead of just making a right turn or going straight, you’re flowing within the roundabout.”
Roundabouts are deemed safer and more efficient for drivers, for information on these intersections head to safety.fhwa.dot.gov/intersection/innovative/roundabouts/.