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Is the British roundabout conquering the US?
BBC News ^ | 30th June 2011 | Tom Geoghegan

Posted on 07/01/2011 9:59:00 AM PDT by the scotsman

'A roundabout revolution is slowly sweeping the US. The land of the car, where the stop sign and traffic light have ruled for decades, has started to embrace the free-flowing British circular.

A few moments after entering Carmel, it's clear why the city has been described as the Milton Keynes of the US.

As the sat-nav loudly and regularly points out, there's often a roundabout up ahead.

But unlike in the English town famous for them, driving into this pretty city on the outskirts of Indianapolis also involves passing several more under construction.

The city is at the forefront of a dizzying expansion, across several American states, of the circular traffic intersection redesigned in 1960s Britain and then exported globally. About 3,000 have been built in the US in the last 20 years.'

(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Indiana; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: circle; european; europeon; sustainable; yourapeon
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1 posted on 07/01/2011 9:59:04 AM PDT by the scotsman
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To: the scotsman

We’ve been trying to get rid of the Concord Rotary for decades. My Tom-tom calls it a rotary, but Tom-Tom’s U.S. office about a quarter mile from the Concord Rotary. What do they call it outside of Massachusetts? In the UK, it’s a “roundabout”. What is it in Iowa?


2 posted on 07/01/2011 10:01:56 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Somewhere in Kenya a village is missing its idiot)
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To: the scotsman

We’ve been trying to get rid of the Concord Rotary for decades. My Tom-tom calls it a rotary, but Tom-Tom’s U.S. office about a quarter mile from the Concord Rotary. What do they call it outside of Massachusetts? In the UK, it’s a “roundabout”. What is it in Iowa?


3 posted on 07/01/2011 10:01:56 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Somewhere in Kenya a village is missing its idiot)
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To: the scotsman

We’ve been trying to get rid of the Concord Rotary for decades. My Tom-tom calls it a rotary, but Tom-Tom’s U.S. office about a quarter mile from the Concord Rotary. What do they call it outside of Massachusetts? In the UK, it’s a “roundabout”. What is it in Iowa?


4 posted on 07/01/2011 10:01:56 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Somewhere in Kenya a village is missing its idiot)
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To: the scotsman

Roundabouts are a great way to keep traffice flowing. We go to the UK every year or so, and I’m now accustomed to driving them, but I don’t see them catching on in the US. They require a certain amount discipline and skill that most American drivers lack.


5 posted on 07/01/2011 10:02:09 AM PDT by clintonh8r (Member Emeritus of Vitriolics Anonymous.)
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To: the scotsman

The traffic circle they are talking about in Carmel has been a boon for local repair shops also.


6 posted on 07/01/2011 10:03:08 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: the scotsman
They used to have them all over the place in Jersey in the 1950s and early ‘60s. We called them “circles”. The state got rid of them in the ‘70s and ‘80s because they were “too dangerous”. Now they're coming back. I guess its a case of back to the future.
7 posted on 07/01/2011 10:04:24 AM PDT by chimera
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

In Minnesota, I call it a Clusterf***.

Leftists here call them “Calming Circles”.


8 posted on 07/01/2011 10:04:59 AM PDT by WOBBLY BOB ( "I don't want the majority if we don't stand for something"- Jim Demint)
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To: clintonh8r
We've got a couple around here, with one at a fairly large intersection where multiple lanes have to blend into the narrower roundabout....fraught with danger, because it really confuses drivers.

Shortly after it was installed the first incident was a Sheriff's car plowing right through it.

9 posted on 07/01/2011 10:05:05 AM PDT by ErnBatavia (It's not the Obama Administration....it's the "Obama Regime".)
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To: clintonh8r

A simple one-lane traffic circle (roundable, rotary, whatever) is easy and an efficient way to manage traffic as long as people know how to yield. But when you get into some of the big urban circles, then it breaks down. I lived outside DC for a couple years and tried to navigate a few of theirs like Dupont Circle...noooo, thank you. Absolutely terrifying.

I grew up in a small town in Virginia with no stoplights...but one traffic circle smack in the center of town. It worked great. They did add a stoplight around 1990, but it was to a different intersection. The traffic circle is still there last I heard.

}:-)4


10 posted on 07/01/2011 10:05:05 AM PDT by Moose4 ("By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!")
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To: the scotsman
After spending several months driving with round points (French label) on overseas assignments I noticed that I had far less stress, got places quickly without sitting behind interminable lights, and occasionally had fun by going round the point once or twice while making up my mind about which way to go!

Way better solution than traffic lights in most, but not all, cases.

Truckee, California is now mostly roundabouts and it works very well, and no one misses the lights.

11 posted on 07/01/2011 10:05:15 AM PDT by Regulator (Watch Out! Americans are on the March! America Forever, Mexico Never!)
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To: the scotsman
Agenda 21 City Planners love them.

Anywhere you see one popping up, you can bet Agenda 21 is rearing its ugly head.

12 posted on 07/01/2011 10:05:56 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." - Bertrand de Jouvenel des Ursins)
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To: the scotsman

I hate them...totally.....


13 posted on 07/01/2011 10:06:21 AM PDT by cherry
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To: the scotsman
We're getting one here in Western PA.

They are all the rage!

14 posted on 07/01/2011 10:07:33 AM PDT by Glenn (iamtheresistance.org)
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To: the scotsman

These are a great source of traffic accidents and dangerous as heck.

They may be cheap but they’re not effective at traffic control, or safety.


15 posted on 07/01/2011 10:09:07 AM PDT by jimt
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To: the scotsman

70s rock earworm bump.


16 posted on 07/01/2011 10:09:10 AM PDT by Hunton Peck (See my FR homepage for a list of businesses that support WI Gov. Scott Walker)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Tthey claim it encourages “sustainabilty”, “livability”,”walkability” and all the other favortite leftard code words.

Some city managers just got back from their taxpayer-funded junket abroad and decided “let’s play Europe”.


17 posted on 07/01/2011 10:10:19 AM PDT by WOBBLY BOB ( "I don't want the majority if we don't stand for something"- Jim Demint)
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To: the scotsman
Oh please. The roundabout has been a standard on New England roads since roads were built. They can still be found in Pennsylvania as well, especially in older towns like Gettysburg.

If the traffic is too heavy, they are NOT free flowing. They are more like a fuster cluck which can better be regulated with a traffic light.

They work just fine in places were the space and the traffic flow (such as what would normally go through a four-way stop) is appropriate.

Recently, I attended my daughter's college graduation in Idaho. They had a roundabout to separate traffic between those headed for campus and those headed downtown. It seemed to work just fine and the locals, who do not have the experience driving roundabouts that we do here in the northeast, seemed to have no trouble figuring it out.

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing a few more of them around here. We have roads which have got to be really confusing to outsiders-- left turns or, in most cases, right turns can keep going; those going straight have to stop, three way stops at four point intersections (one direction keeps going) and other stuff that makes me wonder who designed these roads in PA.

18 posted on 07/01/2011 10:10:48 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: the scotsman

I HATE these things! Liberals love them because their so European and “calming”. They are sprouting like dandelions in Wisconsin. In fact, in one community they literally have three of these round abouts all in a row, one right after the other! It’s insane! Hate ‘em.


19 posted on 07/01/2011 10:11:02 AM PDT by Obadiah (If you don't believe you can win, there is no point in getting out of bed at the end of the day.)
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To: cherry

I have driven round points in France. The rules can differ as to who yields to whom depending on the roundpoint. On the Arc de Triomphe in Paris roundpoint the traffic on the circle yields to the traffic entering the circle. Most smaller ones require the oncoming to yield to the traffic already there. And no lanes on the Arc de Triomphe....8 lanes with no lanes markings. Lots of horns...


20 posted on 07/01/2011 10:11:28 AM PDT by shankbear (Al-Qaeda grew while Monica blew)
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To: WOBBLY BOB

Just pretend you’re a NASCAR driver on a really tiny track.


21 posted on 07/01/2011 10:11:37 AM PDT by Hunton Peck (See my FR homepage for a list of businesses that support WI Gov. Scott Walker)
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To: the scotsman

They are great as long as there’s no traffic!


22 posted on 07/01/2011 10:12:18 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

Dunno about Iowa, but in Wisc., I think the signs say “Traffic circle ahead”.


23 posted on 07/01/2011 10:13:29 AM PDT by Hunton Peck (See my FR homepage for a list of businesses that support WI Gov. Scott Walker)
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To: the scotsman

I hate those damn things.


24 posted on 07/01/2011 10:13:36 AM PDT by RockinRight (If we're "teabaggers" then they're "d-baggers.")
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To: the scotsman

Roundabouts work if you drive a small car like a Honda Civic or smaller, but try that with something the size of the current Ford Fusion/Honda Accord/Toyota Camry/Nissan Altima (the so-called D-Class automobile)—no wonder accidents galore!


25 posted on 07/01/2011 10:14:29 AM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: Hunton Peck

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7RSzq59rX4


26 posted on 07/01/2011 10:15:14 AM PDT by WOBBLY BOB ( "I don't want the majority if we don't stand for something"- Jim Demint)
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To: jimt
They're building traffic circles all over Germany and they are working great. The difference? Driver training in Germany.

With typical Teutonic thoroughness, Germans actually learn how to drive before they are permitted to get behind the wheel. The problem in America is not the circles, its the ditzes.


27 posted on 07/01/2011 10:15:50 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: the scotsman
I thought it already had.


28 posted on 07/01/2011 10:15:57 AM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: Hunton Peck
"Damn roundabouts are a communist plot".....
29 posted on 07/01/2011 10:16:38 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: WOBBLY BOB
In Minnesota, I call it a Clusterf***.

LOL! Here too - I live in TimBuckEight, way up in NW Montana... It may not be wilderness, but i can see wilderness from here... and we have recently acquired two of these absurdities.

More "We need to be like Europe" bullcrap. Liberalism has invaded civil engineering schools, it seems.

30 posted on 07/01/2011 10:16:57 AM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just socialism in a business suit.)
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To: nathanbedford

Is that you Barack?


31 posted on 07/01/2011 10:17:26 AM PDT by Obadiah (If you don't believe you can win, there is no point in getting out of bed at the end of the day.)
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To: clintonh8r

The ones in Carmel are doing alright. If a Carmel housewife/soccer mom can handle it, anyone can.

I like em myself. And they do help keep traffic moving. It’s either those or widening roads and intersections, adding lights, etc.

The first time I ever encountered one, well, except for Indy’s “Circle” downtown, was in Grand Cayman, in a right hand drive vehicle. No sweat.


32 posted on 07/01/2011 10:19:32 AM PDT by AFreeBird
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To: WOBBLY BOB
They have added a few in the Ann Arbor, MI area where traffic lights are notoriously long. I hope they help in those instances. I find them scarey if I'm unfamiliar with a particular one. I think they require drivers to be extra vigilant. In this cell phone era, that is not always the case.

They claim it encourages “sustainabilty”, “livability”,”walkability” and all the other favortite leftard code words.

I was thinking about this after I drove through a new roundabout a couple of weeks ago. How does a pedestrian cross an intersection where traffic flow is constant?

33 posted on 07/01/2011 10:20:46 AM PDT by stayathomemom (Beware of kittens modifying your posts.)
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To: the scotsman

If they build any down here in Alabama they better make them about two blocks around to accomodate pick-up trucks. :-)


34 posted on 07/01/2011 10:22:26 AM PDT by commish (Freedom tastes sweetest to those who have fought to preserve it.)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

I was going to say, “rotaries” have been common in New England for at least 50 years.


35 posted on 07/01/2011 10:22:26 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: WOBBLY BOB

I wouldn’t want to be eating popcorn while doing that — even if Diaz were feeding it to me....


36 posted on 07/01/2011 10:22:30 AM PDT by Hunton Peck (See my FR homepage for a list of businesses that support WI Gov. Scott Walker)
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To: chimera

I remember a few of them in the Newark area when I was a kid.

Down in Mexico City the main drag is called the Reforma it has eight or nine of them. You talk about pure fear, that was my sense.


37 posted on 07/01/2011 10:22:48 AM PDT by Recon Dad (Herman Cain is the man in 2012)
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To: the scotsman

What are being mis-labeled as a “Roundabout” in the U.S. are a bad JOKE!

I call them circular stops, as it is nearly certain some one has to stop every time.
If you have to stop anyway, there might as well be a sign and regular intersection.

To have a genuine roundabout you need a LOT more land, a MUCH bigger traffic circle, and the additional paving that entails.
European roundabouts are often large enough to hold a small park or rest stop in their center.
They may have several entrances/exits and multiple lanes, but are easy to use as there is plenty of space.

I have yet to see a decent roundabout ANYWHERE in the U.S., a true roundabout is great fun, adds a bit of twisty to otherwise boring strait roads, and does not require you to slow down to navigate it!


38 posted on 07/01/2011 10:24:30 AM PDT by Loyal Sedition (Loyal Sedition, often described as "To the right of Attila The Hun"!)
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To: Moose4

“I grew up in a small town in Virginia with no stoplights...but one traffic circle smack in the center of town.”

I know that circle! Used to go ‘round it on my way to the courthouse.


39 posted on 07/01/2011 10:25:29 AM PDT by Hunton Peck (See my FR homepage for a list of businesses that support WI Gov. Scott Walker)
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To: WOBBLY BOB

Top Gear is the best show on TV!!! (not the american version)


40 posted on 07/01/2011 10:26:04 AM PDT by Sporke (USS-Iowa BB-61)
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To: Obadiah

I HATE these things! Liberals love them because their so European and “calming”.

<><><><<>

silly comment.

In Europe they are actually designed for traffic flow and they work great. In the US they are used for calming and are stupid.

When designed and implemented for traffic flow, they are awesome.

And anyone who thinks they are dangerous just needs to pay more attention to those around them (not exactly our forte)


41 posted on 07/01/2011 10:27:21 AM PDT by dmz
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To: Hunton Peck

Years ago, we were convoying to a friend’s wedding. There were 6 cars in our little convoy. After a few hours we pulled into town about 10pm and came upon a round about. As the leader of our little convoy I jumped right in (with “my” convoy in hot pursuit) and proceeded around... and around... and around... LOL, I pulled up behind the last car in the convoy and started following him around the circle. We did about 5 laps before I pulled off in the direction we needed to go. All the guys that were driving thought it was pretty funny. All the wives and girlfriends? Not so much. ;-)


42 posted on 07/01/2011 10:28:02 AM PDT by Hatteras
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To: clintonh8r

I never know when the hell to merge or change lanes, it’s confusing unless everyone uses the same rules, which in the US have never really been established, since so few places had them historically.


43 posted on 07/01/2011 10:28:07 AM PDT by RockinRight (If we're "teabaggers" then they're "d-baggers.")
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

We call them ‘traffic circles’.................


44 posted on 07/01/2011 10:28:28 AM PDT by Red Badger (Nothing is a 'right' if someone has to give it to you................)
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To: Moose4

Where it really becomes a clusterf**k is when they put a traffic light IN the circle.

Copley, OH has one.


45 posted on 07/01/2011 10:29:25 AM PDT by RockinRight (If we're "teabaggers" then they're "d-baggers.")
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Maybe they work better if the wheel is on the wrong side of the car.


46 posted on 07/01/2011 10:30:53 AM PDT by Hunton Peck (See my FR homepage for a list of businesses that support WI Gov. Scott Walker)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

There’s an upsurge of “roundabouts” (we used to call them “traffic circles” here)in northern Virginia. It’s part of a move called “traffic calming” to avoid the starts and stops and traffic surges of regular traffic lights.

Also they may be cheaper in the long run—since there are no traffic lights to maintain.

Where Route 50 meets Route 15 (a major N/S road going for NC up into NY state) TWO roundabouts are used, and, so far so good (as far as I know). Used to be a major intersection of two heavily traveled roads, where you’d always want to time the light right... now you don’t have to slow down so much...

I know huge traffic circles (with 5 or more roads coming together) can be dangerous, but roundabouts as an alternative to a typical traffic light, may well be a good thing.


47 posted on 07/01/2011 10:31:47 AM PDT by AnalogReigns
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To: the scotsman

I hate round abouts. We have had two taken out because of too many accidents.


48 posted on 07/01/2011 10:31:53 AM PDT by wolfman23601
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To: the scotsman

I hope not. Roundabouts (or traffic circles as we call them) are hazardous. Mix in cell phones and text messaging and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.


49 posted on 07/01/2011 10:33:25 AM PDT by Tallguy (You can safely ignore anything that precedes the word "But"...)
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To: the scotsman

Rotaries (roundabouts?) are commonplace here in New England. No problem. I’ve been using them since I got my license, back when coal-fired steam auto-mobiles were all the rage. (Ahem.)

One interesting rotary is located at Interstate 93 at the junctions of Routes 110 and 113 in Methuen, Mass. The markings on this rotary make traffic flow a little smoother at rush hour, though all rotaries are a pain when traffic is heavy.

Anybody in the area should give this rotary a try. See what you think about these unusual lane markings.


50 posted on 07/01/2011 10:33:56 AM PDT by DNME (With the sound of distant drums ... something wicked this way comes.)
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