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Old 04-21-2013, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,419 posts, read 11,923,391 times
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I think it only works in areas of very low vehicular density, as others have said.

I see this work in a limited fashion in the alleys of Pittsburgh (which are generally called "ways" - and in many neighborhoods are not merely places for garages and the like, but have large numbers of houses as well). The ways are generally kept two-way in theory, although it is impossible on most for two cars to pass one another. Instead they operate under unofficial rules - you go very slowly down them, and if you see another car coming in the opposite direction, you hold off on going down the block until they get out themselves. No accidents ever happen in them (discounting people scuffing your bumper when they park), because no one ever goes over 15 MPH (and often much, much slower) in the vast majority of them.
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:06 PM
 
Location: classified
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In Europe drivers are more used to driving in narrower streets and dealing with bicyclists and pedestrians so I think having a "shared space" roadway could be more easily introduced there. I am not so sure that concept could be easily introduced here just because of the way cities in North America are set up.
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo234 View Post
In Europe drivers are more used to driving in narrower streets and dealing with bicyclists and pedestrians so I think having a "shared space" roadway could be more easily introduced there. I am not so sure that concept could be easily introduced here just because of the way cities in North America are set up.
Traffic Roundabouts Spread in US
New York Times/November 18, 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/19/us...outs.html?_r=0

Roundabouts don't use traffic lights but are shown to be safer and more efficient at handling high-volume traffic, and are cheaper to build. For those reasons they appear to be a growing trend in the US. But are still pretty rare so people often get confused when they first encounter them because they never seen one before and don't know how to use them very well. It starts with driver education. The schools have to start incorporating information about them into their driver training so people can become more familiar and comfortable with them because people tend to be afraid of change and the unknown.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:37 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,442 posts, read 9,880,422 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
Traffic Roundabouts Spread in US
New York Times/November 18, 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/19/us...outs.html?_r=0

Roundabouts don't use traffic lights but are shown to be safer and more efficient at handling high-volume traffic, and are cheaper to build. For those reasons they appear to be a growing trend in the US. But are still pretty rare so people often get confused when they first encounter them because they never seen one before and don't know how to use them very well. It starts with driver education. The schools have to start incorporating information about them into their driver training so people can become more familiar and comfortable with them because people tend to be afraid of change and the unknown.
I agree that roundabouts could make for a positive development. It's when you start talking about getting rid of street signs and sidewalk curbs that my eyes glaze over.

The biggest impediment to their introduction is the fact that old-style traffic circles actually did make things more dangerous.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:57 AM
 
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I have driven through intersections like this in other countries and things seem to work better. People are more aggressive yet observant and yielding at the same time. People are expected to be competent, to not diddle dawdle when it's their turn but to yield when it's not. People use their horns to constructively communicate.

In the U.S. our roads have been oversigned and oversignaled to the point people have lost the ability to judge for themselves. I cringe every time I see some small two lane road being widened to a four lane divided road becaus I know they are going to throw up so many signs and signals that it will just be more congested. Sometimes I wonder if we're going to eventually need a signal at the end of every driveway.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:46 AM
 
Location: atlanta
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i can only see this working in a place where there isn't much traffic to begin with. for example here in atlanta, i can't think of any place where this would actually work. and also, what if the intersection is completely empty, and someone thinks that the road crossing is a couple of driveways, so they continue through the intersection at 25 mph and get t-boned? i'm sorry, but i can only see this working at an intersection where there is consistent, minimal traffic 24/7.

in any place where there is a major roadway, it will result in huge delays and multiple accidents. the only reason it works in the video above is because the roadway is primarily a pedestrian and cyclist roadway. it doesn't move cars efficiently enough to be any kind of permanent solution on a major roadway.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:44 AM
 
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We have a intersection close by that 500k+ vehicles pass through every day. It has three left turn lanes, two right turn lanes, and three straight through lanes. Yeah I could see a round-about there instead of a traffic light. And this is ten miles west of the city.

I drove around Europe for four years. You folks need to drive into Paris some day just for the rush.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Allentown, PA
58 posts, read 141,269 times
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I think it depends on the culture. HeavenWood made a good point--"at least in the States." Northern Europeans do seem a lot more civilized than we are when it comes to being socially responsible and considerate of others. I have noticed, though, that where I live in Pennsylvania if the traffic lights are out it's no problem --people just wait to see what other drivers are going to do, and everyone's a lot more careful. And with four-way stop signs people still are often confused. The rules are hard to apply in some situations, and it comes down to people flashing their lights and communicating with hand gestures.But nei had a good point that in heavy traffic situations it could really slow things down. Or it could get dangerous, if people are in a hurry.

I agree with HeavenWood that removing traffic lights might work but curbs (and maybe signs) serve an important function. I once fell asleep at the wheel and woke up only when I felt the jolt from my car jumping the curb. Fortunately it was an area with virtually no foot traffic and no store fronts, otherwise I could have done some real damage. People aren't so likely to fall asleep in a busier environment where they really have to pay attention, but they could get distracted, and some people are just plain reckless.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:13 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,002 posts, read 102,581,357 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JQofPA View Post
I think it depends on the culture. HeavenWood made a good point--"at least in the States." Northern Europeans do seem a lot more civilized than we are when it comes to being socially responsible and considerate of others.
Oh, gag me! My daughter just got back from a trip to England. She told me which country's citizens have the worst reputations there for not being willing to wait in line, etc, and it's not the Americans!
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:13 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,265,973 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavenWood View Post
I agree that roundabouts could make for a positive development. It's when you start talking about getting rid of street signs and sidewalk curbs that my eyes glaze over.

The biggest impediment to their introduction is the fact that old-style traffic circles actually did make things more dangerous.
Yes they can be easily confused with roundabouts. In recent years some cities such as Portland and Berkeley built a bunch of traffic circles apparently because they were not aware of the difference between a traffic circle and a roundabout and thought they were building the latter. But there is a big difference. Traffic circles are useless and potentially dangerous.
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