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View Poll Results: Do you like roundabouts?
Yes: Driven in one 35 62.50%
No: Driven in one 19 33.93%
Yes: Never driven in one 0 0%
No: Never driven in one 2 3.57%
Voters: 56. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-23-2007, 08:02 PM
 
Location: From WNC, now in Raleigh
296 posts, read 1,639,556 times
Reputation: 299

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I have noticed that roundabouts are popping up all over the place in North Carolina. I know of the following in WNC:
  • W.T. Weaver Blvd. and University Heights at UNC Asheville
  • College St. and Oak St. near downtown Asheville
  • Bleachery Blvd. at the East Asheville Wal-Mart Super Center
  • I-26, U.S. 74 and N.C. 108 interchange (Exit 67) in Columbus
  • I-485 and Moores Chapel Rd. interchange (Exit 12) in Charlotte (I know, not exactly WNC)

According to the Federal Highway Administration, these "modern" roundabouts (not to be confused with large, multi-lane traffic circles) have the benefits of:
  • Increasing traffic capacity 30-50%
  • Up to a 90% reduction in fatalities
  • 76% reduction in injury crashes
  • 30-40% reduction in pedestrian crashes
  • 75% fewer conflict points than four way intersections

FHWA roundabout brochure

Roundabouts are also great solutions for intersections where there are a large number of left turns. This was the solution NCDOT pursued for the poorly designed and incomplete I-26, U.S. 74 and N.C. 108 interchange in Columbus, Polk County.


I-26, U.S. 74 and N.C. 108 interchange

Westbound U.S. 74 traffic (blue line) is required to exit and cross the N.C. 108 bridge over I-26 to access I-26 east. I-26 west traffic must cross N.C. 108 to continue on U.S. 74 east (red line).

Due to the lack of funding to complete the freeway-to-freeway connections or widen the two-lane N.C. 108 overpass, NCDOT went with the roundabouts to alleviate the congestion caused by the high number of left turns onto I-26 east.

My point? These "raindrop" roundabouts work great! The first roundabout was constructed on the west side of the bridge in 2004 and reduced congestion substantially. The second roundabout is under construction and should be completed on June 5. This same traffic pattern is used for the I-485 and Moores Chapel Rd. interchange in Charlotte.


The roundabout on the left was constructed in 2004 and provides a free-flowing left turn onto I-26 east. The right one will be complete June 5.

The other “full circle” roundabouts that I have driven through seem to work just as efficiently.

What are your opinions on roundabouts? Have you driven in one or know of any that are planned (or SHOULD be planned) in your area? Are they great and simple solutions to some of our increasing traffic problems, or dizzying accidents waiting to happen?
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Old 05-24-2007, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Asheville, NC
648 posts, read 2,062,637 times
Reputation: 281
I've done all three in Asheville. All seem to allow good traffic flow in areas that otherwise would need a traffic light. No one ever has to wait very long, and often you don't even have to stop, as you would at a light. Very efficient IMO.

I don't know of any more that are planned. They had a great opportunity to do one in the River Hills (Circuit City/Dick's/Target) shopping area in East Asheville, but put in another light instead.
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Old 05-26-2007, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Fort Mill, SC (Charlotte 'burb)
4,732 posts, read 13,569,827 times
Reputation: 954
It just makes sense to turn left in a circle in NC. There are quite a few in newer shopping centers too. Now those ones in the UK are a different story...
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Old 05-26-2007, 02:57 PM
 
Location: From WNC, now in Raleigh
296 posts, read 1,639,556 times
Reputation: 299
A November 13, 2006 article from the Raleigh News & Observer describes plans to make Hillsborough Street across from the N.C. State University campus more pedestrian friendly with the construction of several roundabouts.

Raleigh proposal calls for roundabouts (http://www.newsobserver.com/928/story/509949.html - broken link)

http://newsobserver.com//content/news/story_graphics/20061113_hillsboroughSt.jpg (broken link)
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Old 05-27-2007, 01:02 AM
 
33 posts, read 117,236 times
Reputation: 23
Default roundabouts

Go to this link below. If it does not work go to youtube and search for the screen name wdef and look for roundabouts. This story takes a look into two lane roundabouts constructed in Chattanooga TN, and has local opinion on the matter.


YouTube - Roundabouts
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Old 05-27-2007, 05:09 PM
 
Location: In a house
19,144 posts, read 13,976,135 times
Reputation: 13757
Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!.......Oh my...they will take some getting use to. I came to my first one and was totally confused. But I'm getting the hang of it now!
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:04 PM
 
Location: From WNC, now in Raleigh
296 posts, read 1,639,556 times
Reputation: 299
That video reminded me of how things happened here. The traffic kept backing up and backing up... it would be backed up from both sides of the present roundabout (then a traffic signal) in this picture to the edges of the picture. Obviously it was a serious problem for there to be so much congestion in such a small town and county.



Everyone wanted DOT to widen the bridge, but there wasn't (and still isn't) any funding for it. When they released plans to build the roundabout on the west side of the bridge, everyone pretty much laughed. The idea seemed absurd and no one would believe that it would work, especially for trucks.

Then it was built, people finally got the hang of it, and kept asking when the second one would be built. How ironic...
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Old 05-31-2008, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Western Hoosierland
18,268 posts, read 3,177,253 times
Reputation: 5943
Arrow I Love Roundabouts

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboy_wilhelm View Post
I have noticed that roundabouts are popping up all over the place in North Carolina. I know of the following in WNC:
  • W.T. Weaver Blvd. and University Heights at UNC Asheville
  • College St. and Oak St. near downtown Asheville
  • Bleachery Blvd. at the East Asheville Wal-Mart Super Center
  • I-26, U.S. 74 and N.C. 108 interchange (Exit 67) in Columbus
  • I-485 and Moores Chapel Rd. interchange (Exit 12) in Charlotte (I know, not exactly WNC)
According to the Federal Highway Administration, these "modern" roundabouts (not to be confused with large, multi-lane traffic circles) have the benefits of:
  • Increasing traffic capacity 30-50%
  • Up to a 90% reduction in fatalities
  • 76% reduction in injury crashes
  • 30-40% reduction in pedestrian crashes
  • 75% fewer conflict points than four way intersections
FHWA roundabout brochure

Roundabouts are also great solutions for intersections where there are a large number of left turns. This was the solution NCDOT pursued for the poorly designed and incomplete I-26, U.S. 74 and N.C. 108 interchange in Columbus, Polk County.


I-26, U.S. 74 and N.C. 108 interchange

Westbound U.S. 74 traffic (blue line) is required to exit and cross the N.C. 108 bridge over I-26 to access I-26 east. I-26 west traffic must cross N.C. 108 to continue on U.S. 74 east (red line).

Due to the lack of funding to complete the freeway-to-freeway connections or widen the two-lane N.C. 108 overpass, NCDOT went with the roundabouts to alleviate the congestion caused by the high number of left turns onto I-26 east.

My point? These "raindrop" roundabouts work great! The first roundabout was constructed on the west side of the bridge in 2004 and reduced congestion substantially. The second roundabout is under construction and should be completed on June 5. This same traffic pattern is used for the I-485 and Moores Chapel Rd. interchange in Charlotte.


The roundabout on the left was constructed in 2004 and provides a free-flowing left turn onto I-26 east. The right one will be complete June 5.

The other “full circle” roundabouts that I have driven through seem to work just as efficiently.

What are your opinions on roundabouts? Have you driven in one or know of any that are planned (or SHOULD be planned) in your area? Are they great and simple solutions to some of our increasing traffic problems, or dizzying accidents waiting to happen?
i love roundabouts where i live you will most likely see double and tri lane roundabouts sometimes you will se a one lane roundabout. i love them because they keep traffic flowing and they have the ability to save you on gas because you not idling
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Old 05-31-2008, 02:14 PM
 
2 posts, read 8,407 times
Reputation: 13
I have driven on many in Australia and they are great to keep traffic moving. Highly recommended.
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Old 05-31-2008, 03:23 PM
 
16,310 posts, read 14,784,294 times
Reputation: 7988
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperwx View Post
I've done all three in Asheville. All seem to allow good traffic flow in areas that otherwise would need a traffic light. No one ever has to wait very long, and often you don't even have to stop, as you would at a light. Very efficient IMO.
Then you have never seen the Oak/College minuscule traffic circle during morning/after rush. I have seen traffic backup almost to the tunnel on College St. because the circle is tiny and cannot handle the volume of traffic these streets generate. I assume that it is as bad on the other streets.

Asheville is squeezing tiny circles into the space that a normal 4 way intersection existed. Two or three actually in the circle is the maximum capacity.

Asheville's 'traffic calming' round islands in intersections should not be confused with true traffic circles with multiple lanes in the circle, and the capacity to handle a volume of traffic.

I bank at the Credit Union at the College/Oak circle, and the tellers said that walk in traffic dropped by 50% when the circle was put in. I guess that it has fulfilled the city's goal, make the traffic calming so intrusive that people avoid the area. Worked for me.

Traffic circles work great when properly designed and built to handle the volume of the roads. Asheville's are simply after thoughts crammed into an intersection that was only 40' wide to begin with, and are expensive waste of taxpayers that could be better spent fixing the crumbling infrastructure.

I watched the Chattanooga video, and you could put all 4 or 5 of Asheville's in less space than that one circle or roundabout occupies. Chattanooga obviously had the goal of solving a problem vs. Asheville's attempt to appease the car haters that live downtown.

Last edited by Asheville Native; 05-31-2008 at 03:33 PM..
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