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Old 04-22-2013, 03:21 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,442 posts, read 9,883,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
Yes they can be easily confused with roundabouts. Portland and Berkeley recently 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.
I know there's a big difference, but because people often confuse the two (until recently, I was one of them) roundabouts are going to meet a lot of resistance in this country. Education is key.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:30 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,005,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
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.
Indeed

A traffic circle and a roundabout are not the same

and

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Old 04-22-2013, 04:17 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,989 posts, read 41,979,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
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!
So which ones had the worst reputations there for not being willing to wait on line?

[note the dialect difference]
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:52 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,006 posts, read 102,606,536 times
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OK, you talked me into revealing the countries. She said the Brits told her the French and Germans were the worst.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Allentown, PA
58 posts, read 141,291 times
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Well, I guess I have to take back what I said about the Europeans being more considerate. It was based on things I've read, and since I've never been to Europe I guess I shouldn't have said anything!

So now I'm really puzzled as to why this works in Europe. Maybe just because they're used to it.
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:40 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,266,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JQofPA View Post

So now I'm really puzzled as to why this works in Europe. Maybe just because they're used to it.

That's part of it. Though shared space works best in denser or more urban environments, which cities in Europe tend to be. The streets aren't designed to simply move cars around as fast as possible as they are in some countries, and their speed limits tend to be a lot lower. You can't drive around everywhere like you're racing in the Indy 500. Accommodation of pedestrians is a priority in the urban planning not just an afterthought.




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Old 04-23-2013, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Laurentia
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Some of these responses reveal the attitude that perpetuates stupid traffic procedures in the U.S., and to a lesser extent in other countries. The basic premise seems to be that drivers are like wild beasts who will speed and plow into everything with no concern for life or limb and will show no courtesy to other drivers, and the only thing that can stop them are draconian enforcement of traffic procedures that leave no room for individual judgment. Examples include red light cameras, underposted speed limits, abundant stop signs, and a suspicion of roundabouts, uncontrolled intersections, and yield signs. Leaving aside the question of whether a driver that reckless would pay attention to red lights and stop signs, by and large it simply isn't true - drivers are not wild beasts, they do look out for their own safety, and most of them do exhibit at least some courtesy to other drivers.

The question here is can traffic flow efficiently in the absence of any signs or traffic lights? I believe that for smaller volumes of traffic at slow speed (≤30 mph) stop signs and traffic lights are unnecessary - motorists can work out the right of way when multiple cars are at an intersection, and can keep moving if there's nothing else at the intersection, a situation that is probably more efficient than waiting for several minutes at a red light. This working out of the right of way can apply to pedestrians and bicyclists as well in a shared space model. This model's efficiency is increased if motorists yield to traffic on their right, and is increased further if roundabouts are used (which is not a pure application but is close enough).

Unfortunately, the model breaks down in more congested situations, because the volume of traffic can no longer be handled by waving at other drivers or taking turns. Controls and signs (and often road upgrades) are needed in that case not because drivers are malicious but because the flow of traffic is gummed up. In that situation, the application of control devices will improve traffic flow rather than retard it. Removing signs and lights also doesn't work at high speeds for obvious reasons - when you're going 40 or 50 mph, you don't have enough time to wave at the other driver, and coming to a full stop at every intersection would be wasteful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavenWood View Post
The biggest impediment to their introduction is the fact that old-style traffic circles actually did make things more dangerous.
Normally, traffic circles required drivers inside the circle to yield to cars that were entering the circle, whereas a roundabout requires drivers entering the circle to yield to drivers that are already in it. Traffic circles also had a higher design speed and had pedestrian crosswalks inside the circle. It's a different system.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:36 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,006 posts, read 102,606,536 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post
Some of these responses reveal the attitude that perpetuates stupid traffic procedures in the U.S., and to a lesser extent in other countries. The basic premise seems to be that drivers are like wild beasts who will speed and plow into everything with no concern for life or limb and will show no courtesy to other drivers, and the only thing that can stop them are draconian enforcement of traffic procedures that leave no room for individual judgment. Examples include red light cameras, underposted speed limits, abundant stop signs, and a suspicion of roundabouts, uncontrolled intersections, and yield signs. Leaving aside the question of whether a driver that reckless would pay attention to red lights and stop signs, by and large it simply isn't true - drivers are not wild beasts, they do look out for their own safety, and most of them do exhibit at least some courtesy to other drivers.

The question here is can traffic flow efficiently in the absence of any signs or traffic lights? I believe that for smaller volumes of traffic at slow speed (≤30 mph) stop signs and traffic lights are unnecessary - motorists can work out the right of way when multiple cars are at an intersection, and can keep moving if there's nothing else at the intersection, a situation that is probably more efficient than waiting for several minutes at a red light. This working out of the right of way can apply to pedestrians and bicyclists as well in a shared space model. This model's efficiency is increased if motorists yield to traffic on their right, and is increased further if roundabouts are used (which is not a pure application but is close enough).

Unfortunately, the model breaks down in more congested situations, because the volume of traffic can no longer be handled by waving at other drivers or taking turns. Controls and signs (and often road upgrades) are needed in that case not because drivers are malicious but because the flow of traffic is gummed up. In that situation, the application of control devices will improve traffic flow rather than retard it. Removing signs and lights also doesn't work at high speeds for obvious reasons - when you're going 40 or 50 mph, you don't have enough time to wave at the other driver, and coming to a full stop at every intersection would be wasteful.



Normally, traffic circles required drivers inside the circle to yield to cars that were entering the circle, whereas a roundabout requires drivers entering the circle to yield to drivers that are already in it. Traffic circles also had a higher design speed and had pedestrian crosswalks inside the circle. It's a different system.
A bit of hyperbole, wouldn't you say? I don't think drivers are malicious, but I think some large percentage are clueless.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:46 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,442 posts, read 9,883,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricius Maximus View Post
Normally, traffic circles required drivers inside the circle to yield to cars that were entering the circle, whereas a roundabout requires drivers entering the circle to yield to drivers that are already in it. Traffic circles also had a higher design speed and had pedestrian crosswalks inside the circle. It's a different system.
I'm fully aware. That's why I explicitly said ". . . because people often confuse the two (until recently, I was one of them) roundabouts are going to meet a lot of resistance in this country. Education is key."
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:06 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,800 posts, read 17,715,636 times
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So what's wrong with stop lights again? I rarely run into any issues while at a stop light.
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