Driving Multi-lane Roundabouts – YouTube


I’ve been reading today about roundabouts, a design concept that I’m a bit wary of. I think that single-lane roundabouts are intuitive enough, although I don’t think that they are great for pedestrians because they make it so cars never have to stop and often deflect the path pedestrians take through an intersection, making their travel longer. That’s bad enough, but multi-lane roundabouts are insane. No one I’ve ever talked to has known how to properly navigate one. I just watched this video trying to figure it out, and learned a lot. But if you have to watch a seven minute video to figure out how something works, doesn’t that mean that someone who comes up to it with maybe ten seconds or so to make a decision could very easily make the wrong one? I think the multi-lane roundabout is an urban design intervention that should be avoided at all costs.

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About Dave Munson
This blog is about architecture, cities, and myself.

2 Responses to Driving Multi-lane Roundabouts – YouTube

  1. dan reed! says:

    There are three roundabouts in my parents’ neighborhood (and my neighborhood for the time being) in Maryland – two single-lane roundabouts and one with two lanes. And I’m all for them, if only because they force drivers to slow down when approaching the intersection and going through it.

    Before the roundabouts were installed in 2008, all three intersections had two-way stop signs. I used to hate crossing the road they’re located on because cars would come flying down and I’d often have to wait several minutes for a big enough gap to cross. Today, it’s much easier.

    Arguably, we could’ve gotten the same results with four-way stop signs, but I don’t know if they would be as effective in slowing traffic as a roundabout.

  2. Lars Edvalson says:

    How about the figure eight roundabout in Kennewick, Washington. At least the center doesn’t cross like in Demolition Derby figure eight. It is basically two two-lane roundabouts with three entrances/exits each combined together where the fourth would normally be. This joining takes place beneath an overpass which severely constricts the roadways. Sometimes referred to as: “The Spaghetti Bowl”

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