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Chaos, horror, mayhem in my neighborhood

  1. Sep 4, 2008 #1


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    I can't believe it...there has just been a traffic circle built in my neighborhood. How exotic! It's just around the corner from me - the SQUARE corner.

    The center of the circle is still just dirt. So far I have seen two cars dirve straight across it! Someone's going to get killed out there - what were they thinking?!?

    OK, if you live in a part of the world where these are common, you can stop snickering at us now :tongue2: .
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 4, 2008 #2
    well you could put up a sign of your own to tell people to do whas right. or you caould place a big rock there and see which fool would still try to drive across it.
  4. Sep 4, 2008 #3
    There's one near my place. I can't believe there aren't more accidents there.

    People around here drive like idiots alot too. I think its more willful than ignorant. especially the ***holes that drive on the shoulder of the freeway in traffic.
  5. Sep 4, 2008 #4
    Traffic circles are the most useless concept ever. There's three consecutive traffic circles just to the north of me. Three! It's absurd.
  6. Sep 4, 2008 #5
    The biggest problem with traffic circles in North America is that there are not enough of them (can't speak for the rest of the world, as I have never been there). If there were more of them, people would know how to use them properly. They are much better at maintaining the flow of traffic than an intersection, provided that everyone goes when they are supposed to. When people don't know when to go, they either go before they should, causing an accident, or hesitating, causing delay.
  7. Sep 5, 2008 #6


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    Roundabouts in America :bugeye: there is going to be mayhem, some of the ones we have are so small we have to drive across them, but this is the UK.
  8. Sep 5, 2008 #7


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    There is a street nearby where the local town government decided to control traffic by removing traffic lights and replacing them with roundabouts. It apparently works somewhat, partially because drivers avoid that street in favor of others, which means other streets are now more congested.

    On the roundabouts, one can see where cars run over the curb or the circle in the middle.
  9. Sep 5, 2008 #8


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    Our state capitol has two traffic circles, each with 5-6 roads feeding/exiting, and they are so small that there is barely enough room to get in the circle and get back off, so they are horrible bottlenecks. Since it is the capitol, there are lots of people visiting who are unfamiliar with the town and who are unfamiliar with traffic circles. It's a mess.
  10. Sep 5, 2008 #9


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    You ARE supposed to run over the centre of a mini roundabout ( at least in the UK)
    It's there to set the rules for who gives way to who and which side you pass on.
    It's also necessary in smaller roads to let trucks/buses past.

    They do work much better than 4-way stops for keeping traffic flowing. It's jsut that in N. America they cause chaos since nobody has any idea what to do, except ex-pat Brits, and they all have to come to a stop because you don't know what the other idiot is going to do.
  11. Sep 5, 2008 #10
    South Jersey is riddled with traffic circles. When I learned to drive, the teacher took me to several of them and taught me how to properly use them. However, over the years they have been redesigned as regular intersections. There is one just a few hundred yards from my mother's house where the conversion is just finishing up. I prefer the circles because they are quicker to pass through, and they probably save gasoline. However, the quality of teaching at our institutes of driver education has deteriorated over the years and the younger generation can't even parallel park on the highway, so how can you expect them to negotiate a circle while talking on a cell phone?
  12. Sep 5, 2008 #11


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    We have one on our school campus. I prefer them.

    But like you all said, no one has got a damn clue what yield means... or merge. People know of only two concepts here... stop and go.
  13. Sep 5, 2008 #12
    There is an excellent new subject for the PF photo contest. Roundabouts.

    I think they are working here although there should be a minimum size and a clear obstacle in the middle, changing a square corner in a roundabout seems not a good idea.

    Problem I see with them is they seem to favor the main traffic flow. Quite impossible to get in between.
  14. Sep 5, 2008 #13
    you're talking about roundabouts?

    when people actually know the road rules, they are great, and ease congestion
  15. Sep 5, 2008 #14


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    Roundabouts are a great invention, so long as people know the rules! It would save on so many stop signs, and mean that you don't have to stop all the time and have those awkward standoffs at stop signs! You just drive up to the roundabout, give way to the right, and go (or left, if we're talking about your crazy country!). I was once in the car with my gf in the US and we came upto a roundabout. She immediately said "omg, a traffic circle.. I hate these things.." and proceeded to nervously approach it. I had to talk her through what to do.. look to the left; if it's clear then you can go. Needless to say, I found this quite amusing!
  16. Sep 5, 2008 #15


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    Oh my god, something new! We cannot allow this to exist! :wink:

    They work. Get used to them :tongue2:
  17. Sep 5, 2008 #16


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    I love driving over the cobbled mini-roundabouts in the U.K., oh and parking on either side of the road facing whichever way (something forbidden where I come from), gives a good feeling of legal mischief.
  18. Sep 5, 2008 #17


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    Roundabouts are OK to some traffic level, then they stop working. But in many places they work wonders.

    That's if you have IQ high enough to use them :devil:
  19. Sep 5, 2008 #18
    Roundabouts work better with polite people.

    I think they tend to fail with aggressive drivers faster than just higher traffic levels.
  20. Sep 5, 2008 #19


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    I think both are good points. Part of the problem is lack of familiarity since there aren't very many of them. I grew up with traffic circles nearby and never thought much of it. But, yeah, as more people moved into the area unfamiliar with them, it started turning into a nightmare. They'd never merge in out of fear and block up traffic, or would get into the center lane and then try to cut across to their exit right where others were trying to merge, etc. I think my uncle's towing business grew considerably due to accidents in that circle.

    The last time I visited the area, they'd replaced it with a confusing maze of overpasses and jughandles and traffic lights. I thought the circle was easier...at least if I missed my turn, I could just go around one more time.

    :rofl: I guess that's another approach...just get people to avoid a road.

    Of course, I'm in a town that has another interesting concept that challenges those who are unfamiliar with it. Center turn lanes shared for drivers on both sides of the road to use for left turns. What you're SUPPOSED to do, is just get in the lane when you approach your turn so you're not blocking traffic while sitting and waiting for an opening to make your left turn. What people ACTUALLY do is use it as another lane to get around traffic for a couple hundred yards before turning, and then collide with the person coming from the other direction doing the same thing to get to turns on the other side of each other. Oh, the other fun thing people do is when I'm already sitting in the turn lane waiting to make a left turn, and they want to pull into the driveway behind me that I've just passed, they pull up nose-to-nose with my car to make their turn rather than pull in right behind me where the driveway is they want to turn into. :rolleyes: I usually give them a "Are you brain dead?!" shrug and gesture. And the BEST one yet is when they pull up like this, then realize now neither of us can turn, so to get around me, drive on the WRONG side of the road rather than getting back to their side and going around and pulling back into the turn lane. I think the towing companies and body shops here LOVE the out-of-state students. :uhh:
  21. Sep 5, 2008 #20


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    Americans don't do very well on roundabouts.

    Growing up, I only remember two - one a circle with a very large radius (Tallmadge Circle) and one with a very small radius. The large one was more dangerous, but that's because it was a major intersection of about 6 or 8 roads (the little towns around Akron were notorious for 6 way intersections, but I think this one was actually 8).

    Or, you could do what Colorado Springs did. They just stuck a huge statue in the middle of a 4-way intersection. No one knows whether it's a 4-way intersection with a statue stuck in the middle of it or an extremely small roundabout. Either way, it's always near the top of the list for most dangerous intersection in the city.

    Roundabouts are hell for American military people when they're first stationed overseas. The bases would constantly warn their people about the roundabouts and always include a little piece on them in orientation for new people. In spite of that, the accident rates for people on station for 6 months or less was incredibly high. Every base seemed to have a smaller roundabout somewhere in the local area that earned the nickname, "The Circle of Death".
  22. Sep 5, 2008 #21
    I kid you not, in my city there is (at least) one traffic circle (roundabout for you brits) with traffic lights. I'm not sure who came up with this idea, but it must be one of the stupidest ideas I have ever seen. All the drawbacks of a traffic circle (stupid people unsure when they should go) combined with delays waiting for lights to change.
  23. Sep 5, 2008 #22
    Another point is bicycles, In Holland many roundabouts do have bicycle lanes on the outside of the roundabout. And to make things easy, outside the towns, the cars have right of way but inside the towns, the bikes have right of way. But it is defitinitely for the advanced and experienced drivers to have eyes everywhere and avoid hitting bikes.
  24. Sep 5, 2008 #23
    Would that be Logan Square (I kid you neither) in Philadelphia?
  25. Sep 5, 2008 #24
    Nope, I'm up North in Edmonton.
  26. Sep 5, 2008 #25
    We have a lot of the center turn lanes here in Tucson. They are commonly referred to as suicide lanes.

    We are starting to get traffic circles, especially at intersections within neighborhoods. They do slow traffic down without really causing delays. Seattle calls them traffic calming circles.

    People here don't know how to use them. A lot of people pull up to the circle and stop, then treat it like a four way stop. Treating the circle as a four way stop means of course that they yield to the vehicle on the right and get hit by a vehicle coming around the circle on their left:eek:
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