back to article Traffic lights, who needs 'em? Lucky Kentucky residents up in arms over first roundabout

From Swindon's insane five circles in a circle to the insurance-clause-generating 12-lane monster around the Arc de Triomphe, the roundabout has been easing congestion helping local governments across Europe save their pennies for decades. However, it really seems to be grinding gears in northeastern Kentucky, where denizens …

  1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells

    > The UK has 25,000, and France has over 300,000 (though expressed as a proportion of roundabouts per intersection, they are not that far apart).

    How can that be true? France surely doesn't have over ten times the number of intersections as the UK?

    1. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
      Coat

      Er ...

      Space France is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space France”

      With apologies to Douglas Adams

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Er ...

        Really big?

        It's not even as big as Texas. And it's a whole country.

        Kinda tiny, really.

        1. 45RPM Silver badge

          Re: Er ...

          It’s not much smaller than Texas - at 643,801 km² (France) vs 695,662 km² (Texas) and both are massive compared with little old England (130,279 km²).

          And both have something that England doesn’t. Friends. Texas has the rest of the United States. France has the rest of the European Union. England isn’t even liked by the rest of the ‘United' Kingdom.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Er ...

            France isn't much liked by the rest of the EU...

            1. WolfFan Silver badge

              Re: Er ...

              France isn’t much liked.

              1. Swiss Anton

                Re: Er ...

                By Fance

            2. RegGuy1 Silver badge

              Re: Er ...

              Yes that's right (not):

              https://www.euractiv.com/section/future-eu/opinion/unexpected-alliances-forged-in-europe-france-and-the-baltics/

              Now if you'd said Poland or Hungary, you may have had a point.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Er ...

                Keep your friends close, and...

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Er ...

                NEVER MIND THE BALTICS

            3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Er ...

              "France isn't much liked by the rest of the EU..."

              I think you Paris isn't much liked by the rest of the EU, including the French. (Parisians don't count, as far the rest of France is concerned Parisians aren't French, they're Parisians :-)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Er ...

                And as far as Parisians are concerned, France stops at the périphérique. The rest of the country is just a place to have a holiday home.

            4. katrinab Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Er ...

              France formed the first ever military alliance, with Scotland, against England.

          2. Adelio Silver badge

            Re: Er ...

            And after the disaster of the power cuts many texans do not like the texas power companies.

            1. Dimmer

              Re: Er ...

              We like the power companies, it’s the moron management that thought it would be a good idea to turn off the power to the plants that produced the nat gas used in the plants that we don’t like. The lines froze and the gas stopped flowing. We also did not care for the idiots that figured we would not need wind gen when it was cold.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Er ...

            What a dumb comment. Some of the close friends of the UK, economically, politically and militarily include (wait for it):

            France and Germany.

            If you don't know how close the UK and France are as European neighbours and powers (which has nothing to do with the EU), then you really don't have a clue what you are talking about.

          4. Keven E
            Windows

            Re: Er ...

            "Friends. Texas has the rest of the United States."

            LOL

          5. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Er ...

            https://static.fjcdn.com/pictures/The_5dcdd5_5547204.jpg

          6. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Er ...

            643,801 km² isn't that big.

            Australia is 7.692 million km². The Northern Territory on its own is 1.421 million km². WA is 2.646 million km².

            1. Tim99 Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: Er ...

              Yes, and when WA introduced one of the first suburban roundabouts (Yangebup?) most of the locals stopped at the white line and waited for somebody else to move. Sometimes the traffic was stationary on all four entrances and only moved when a driver who had the right-of way waved the next vehicle around the roundabout across...

              In the Old Dart, I find that when this old fart is in a hire car with unfamiliar controls, the High Wycombe roundabout is "challenging" - Instead of signalling appropriately, the windscreen gets wiped,...

              1. julian.smith
                Happy

                Re: WA roundabouts

                What is the date of your anecdote?

                These days Sandgropers are quite familiar with roundabouts.

                1. Tim99 Silver badge

                  Re: WA roundabouts

                  About 1992, I commuted several times a week through the suburbs for about 10 years, but the City of Perth certainly had roundabouts before that. Possibly the first ones were the on the Causeway crossing Heirisson Island in the 1950s, but I’m not sure that they count - They are/were teardrop shaped as the main bridge carriageways weren’t crossed by traffic. Anyway, they were only for the posh people who could take a vehicle into the City :-) These days the Island has traffic lights so people "know" when to move.

                  I now live in a retirement village, and a number of "rural" residents will take a 6 km diversion to avoid one a couple of kms away that has a minor road crossing a dual carriageway.

                  1. Precordial thump

                    Re: WA roundabouts

                    Drove the 3300km from Broome to Perth (via Karijini); 1 traffic light north of the Swan River. It was between Port Hedland and South Hedland. It was green.

                    WA country drivers are great. Everyone waves to everyone else. Slow down for a wave and a thumbs-up if you're stopped at the side of the road (survival is important like that). The B-triple beer truck that had tipped over on its side at Auski Roadhouse was such a display of a community at work; people had driven for miles to help that poor driver.

                    Oodles of roundabouts in Broome. Such a nice town. I suspect it is the town of >10000 people furthest away from any other town of at least the same size.

                    If you're not actually in Perth, WA's traffic controls are... minimalistic.

                    1. Tim99 Silver badge

                      Re: WA roundabouts

                      Yep, years ago I took a (holiday) trip with a company car from Perth to Derby via Carnarvon, Karratha, Hedland, and Broome with a few side trips (>8,000 km in total) with almost no traffic lights.

                      On the other hand, two weeks ago, I went on a shopping expedition with Mrs Tim99 from Mandurah to Osborne Park, via Melville on Highway 1 (~80 km) and would have gone through >50 sets of lights.

                      The population of WA is ~2.6 million, with >2.1 million living in Greater Perth.

            2. keith_w Bronze badge

              Re: Er ...

              Canada: 9.98 million square kilometres (3.85 million square miles). On the other hand, we're not a continent.

          7. big_D Silver badge

            Re: Er ...

            UK = Unfriended (K)nobby (Nomates)?

          8. Someone Else Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Er ...

            Texas has friends?!? Who knew?

        2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: Er ...

          Texas might be big but there are bits of France that are 12+ hour flights away from Paris (not Paris Texas...)

          Reunion is a lovely place to go. I'd expect that 99.99% of Texans would not have a clue where Reunion is on a map of the world.

          As for being liked... Texans aren't liked by many other US citizens. If you want a corrupt state (and there are many if not most states) then Texas is at the top with Florida close behind but catching up rapidly especially after they've passed laws basically allowing car driver to run down protesters and not be prosecuted. Governor De Santis would probably give you a medal if you did just that.

          1. General Purpose Bronze badge

            Re: Er ...

            Of course Texans know where Reunion is. Dallas.

          2. rcxb Silver badge

            Re: Er ...

            I'd expect that 99.99% of Texans would not have a clue where Reunion is on a map of the world.

            That won't stop them from signing-up to invade it.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Er ...

              They can't invade Réunion, it has a letter you can't do on a US keyboard

              If you want to be invaded democratized, you have to rename yourself to something, short, easy to pronounce and enterable on an ASCII keypad

              1. d3vy

                Re: Er ...

                "easy to pronounce"

                Just don't start it with an "I" or they'll still manage to screw it up.

              2. JWfromRUN

                Re: Er ...

                On any keyboard just type ALT+130 and voilà - RUN is open for invasion.

                PS I lived there for 6 years!

              3. Nifty Silver badge

                Re: Er ...

                Erstwhile Port Elizabeth will be perfectly safe then

                https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/25/africa/port-elizabeth-renamed-gqeberha-intl/index.html

        3. This post has been deleted by its author

        4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Er ...

          "It's not even as big as Texas."

          Why do people always go on about how big Texas is? They lost the crown years ago when Alaska became the biggest US State. And lets not have any of that whataboutery saying things like the "lower 48" or "the contiguous US States".

      2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        Re: Er ...

        But given the populations are about the same that's loads more per person - one more demonstration of how intrinsically unfair the EU was to Britain ... "At the roundabout take the third Brexit" ... :-)

      3. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Re: Er ...

        I don't think you need to apologise to the wonderful Mr Adams, I'm sure he would appreciate your comment, and is chuckling away, wherever he may be (driving a car for a family of cheap green retrsctibles, perhaps).

      4. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Er ...

        "With apologies to Douglas Adams"

        I would upvote, but you already have 42...

    2. Dr_N Silver badge

      French Roundabouts are useless

      Roundabouts only work well if people use the correct lane and signal correctly coming onto and exiting the roundabout.

      In France you are allowed to stay in the outside lane for any exit. And you then have priority over the inside lane at all times. This coupled with no signalling makes roundabouts in France worthless.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: French Roundabouts are useless

        Not to mention that you may or may not have priority when on them, depending on the signs at the entry.

        1. Dr_N Silver badge

          Re: French Roundabouts are useless

          The trick is to not get caught out by round traffic islands (no signs) and roundabouts (signed).

        2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Re: French Roundabouts are useless

          I'm working my way through the German traffic regulations and I think 'surprised' is a word I could use to describe my feelings on discovering that there are two sorts of roundabouts: those which have the whirly sign, where traffic on the roundabout sensibly has right of way; and those which don't have the whirly sign and are not in fact roundabouts, merely road crossings with a hump in the middle. And on those, traffic on the joining roads is on the right of anyone going around, and therefore it has right of way.

          This after sixty years in the UK, for the last twenty navigating Hemel Hempstead's magic roundabout (six orbiting mini roundabouts, with two way dual carriageway between them) on a regular basis.

          1. flokie

            Re: French Roundabouts are useless

            Funny, I was just thinking of a town in France that was known for its roundabouts because right of way was different to roundabouts anywhere else in France - but not anywhere in Germany it now seems!

            They sensibly ended this exception in 2002.

            https://www.ladepeche.fr/article/2002/04/24/352677-la-fin-de-la-priorite-a-droite.html

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: French Roundabouts are useless

            "Hemel Hempstead's magic roundabout"

            I remember the first time I came across that. It was a little confusing, but I played it safe, being still a little inexperienced, and went the long way around, just treating it more or less as a big roundabout. That monstrosity at Swindon on the other hand, is enough to give the heebee geebies to even the most experienced driver on first coming across it!

            1. Esme

              Re: French Roundabouts are useless

              pffft. I used to ride across it on my pushbike - absolute doddle! My uncle, on the other hand,would go miles out of his way to avoid the Magic Roundabout, when he came to visit us. It's really only like a a bunch of T-junctions all linked together.

            2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: French Roundabouts are useless

              Swindon's roundabout is no great shakes.

              Massachusetts has been an innovator in traffic circles, or "rotaries" in the local argot, by US standards. Salem used to feature a large elliptical rotary with a parking lot in the center, so vehicles would be entering and exiting at both the periphery and the interior. East Longmeadow used to have a truly brilliant town center with five interconnected traffic circles in a glorious swooping maze of asphalt. Bell Circle on Route 1A in Boston's North Shore was (and may still be) a large rotary with a road cutting through it, controlled by traffic lights: it alternates between a traffic circle and a series of perpendicular intersections.

              Kentucky, of course, is just barely past the horse-and-buggy stage. Wait'll they get their first diverging diamond.

              (Diverging-diamond interchanges have become popular in Kansas, which, weirdly, is a leader in highway innovation in the US. Kansas had the first stretch of Interstate highway, for example. Presumably it's all designed so you can get through Kansas as quickly as possible, though to be honest if you're heading west on I-70 you'll just end up in eastern Colorado, which is worse. Imagine a vast expanse of nothing, then subtract.)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: French Roundabouts are useless

                Diverging diamonds are great if you can never have a power outage.

          3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: French Roundabouts are useless

            On the continent the general rule for traffic is vehicles coming from the right have right of way. This makes sense in terms of traffic safety because it means you generally have to approach a junction and expect to have to give way. It's less good for traffic flow but it does tend to mean that everyone has a chance, which is not always the case on a roundabout where there is a main road with traffice generally going straight on. Then there are the exceptions: Bundesstraßen (A roads) have priority but you're often unlikely to notice them in cities and this can lead to endless fun! In Brussels I was in a bus that was driven into in the side by a car and the bus driver was considered to be at fault: that the person driving the car obviously wasn't looking where she was going at the time (dealing with a small child) did not matter.

            The reasoning behind roundabouts is fine but it failed to take the meatware into consideration and the accident rate starts to go up once the traffic density reaches a certain point (something like 20,000 vehicles an hour or day, but don't take my word for it). Unfortunately this took several expensive and tragic beta tests: in Manchester the junction of Princess Parkway and Barlow Moor Road was remodelled many times in the 1980s and 1990s as smashes on the old roundabout increased: ditto for the roundabout at the end of the Mancunian way; this is still a roundabout but it now has traffic lights and an underpass. I assume it's similar in other places.

      2. Graybyrd
        Angel

        Re: French Roundabouts are useless

        "no signalling makes roundabouts in France worthless."

        Turn signals serve a different purpose here in the U.S. They inform the driver(s) behind to hurry & speed up to get past before you can move in front of them. Either lane, doesn't matter. Also gives the local cop an opportunity to cite the signalling driver for "improper lane change" if he insists on completing his lane change in front of the on-coming speeders. (Anything less than 15-over is not speeding in practical US driving. It's considered obstructing traffic.)

        It was a common sight from my truck mirror to see the cars behind "squat down" when the drivers jammed the accelerator pedal to the floor when I signaled for a lane change.

        1. Denarius Silver badge

          Re: French Roundabouts are useless

          Greybyrd, sounds like Canberra in Oz. One has to accelerate violently to do any lane change or the idiots beside or behind will attempt to block or overtake. In the meantime , if moron in front is vaguely non-comatose, they slow down. I pity truckies.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: French Roundabouts are useless

          That's why US drivers fancy big engines: Without at least 500 HP under the hood you'll never manage to enter a freeway or change a lane...

        3. Someone Else Silver badge

          @Graybyrd -- Re: French Roundabouts are useless

          Turn signals serve a different purpose here in the U.S.

          Yes, and those with a maniacal Libertarian streak will simply not use them for any reason, because it's none of your damn business where they're going!

      3. Cuddles Silver badge

        Re: French Roundabouts are useless

        "Roundabouts only work well if people use the correct lane and signal correctly coming onto and exiting the roundabout."

        Not really. Obviously driving competently helps, but the point of roundabouts isn't actually anything to do with rights of way. The important thing is that turning left* is always better than turning right, because it means you don't have to cross through oncoming traffic. This is actually a big deal for journey times, and is a big deal for logistics companies who often now design their routes to avoid right turns - even if it appears to make a route longer, it usually ends up saving time, as well as reducing accidents.

        A roundabout simply lays the road out so it is only possible to make left turns. You turn left when you enter it, and you turn left again when you leave it, even if overall that results in you turning right from your original heading. Who has right of way at any given point and how competently people pick their lanes and indicate doesn't change that. People screw up at other junctions all the time as well, especially with Google telling them the wrong lane to use half the time. Obviously having everyone get it right can keep things flowing even better, but roundabouts still work for their primary purpose even if no-one using them knows what they're doing.

        *Adjust direction to your local preference.

        1. yetanotheraoc

          Re: French Roundabouts are useless

          "roundabouts still work for their primary purpose even if no-one using them knows what they're doing"

          This varies for different values of not knowing what they're doing.

          As a young inexperienced driver I was "involved" in my second crash on the local roundabout. Yes they were both my fault. While filling out the accident report I asked the officer how many accidents per day they had there. "We have two a day reported to us." With more experience I have thankfully not been in any more roundabout accidents. So my anecdote of one is that knowing what you are doing does enter into the equation.

    3. A. Coatsworth

      I once drove for a few hundred Km in France (Paris to Bayeux, using secondary roads)

      Based on my limited experience, I'd say the estimate of 300.000 roundabouts is a few zeros short!

    4. Dabooka Silver badge

      I question these stats too

      I mean Cramlington must have 25,000 by itself. It certainly bloody feels like it

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: I question these stats too

        Yes, I know it well, from many years ago. I think roundabouts were seen as the panacea to all things congestion related when the "new towns" were being created. Washington is nearly as bad. (remember when Washington was all marked out as numbers, District x, y z instead of places having names? The numbers of people getting lost was just hilarious!)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I question these stats too

          People taking their driving tests in UK "new towns" never had to experience traffic lights. It was a major news story when a set of traffic lights was eventually introduced in Stevenage.

  2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Bunch of wusses

    They need good British roundabouts - two lanes marked on the road sign, three lanes on the road, four on the round-and-roundabout itself with lanes clearly marked to tell you where you should have been and traffic lights thrown in to prevent you getting to that lane! An annoying one in King's Lynn was easily negotiable once you learned to ignore the *all* the signs apart from trying to read those one set of lights ahead so you had time to get where you needed to be immeditately after that set of lights ... all before the inevitable red light stopped you moving anywhere and a juggerynut pea harvester blocked your view of anything...

    1. richardcox13

      Re: Bunch of wusses

      That's easy.

      Expert level is approaching a contra-rotating roundabout (in my case Hemel Hempstead when I used to live ther) and choosing which way to go around based on current traffic levels (generally anti-clockwise was a bit quicker as anyone unfamiliar with the junction would tend to default to clockwise).

      1. Number6

        Re: Bunch of wusses

        First time I found the Swindon one, I was through it before I realised what it was. Clearly my brain is equally convoluted. I did the Hemel Hempstead one a few times, used to visit BSI Labs there, and never had a problem with that either.

        In the US they spoil some roundabouts by putting STOP signs on the entrances, so you can't time your approach for the gap you can see coming.

        1. Red Ted Silver badge
          Go

          Re: Bunch of wusses

          Having lived in Swindon for a while I can concur that anti-clock is typically quicker. With less people going right at the mini roundabouts you generally have a clear run and then get priority turning right off the last mini roundabout, across the traffic orbiting clockwise.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bunch of wusses

        No, Expert Level is the set of roundabouts at the bottom of the A34 in Burnage/Fallowfield/Levenshulme.

        A series if interesting twists and turns over 2/2.5 roundabouts not easy to navigate coupled with a lot of foreign drivers not used to roundabouts makes it amazing fun.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Bunch of wusses

          I'm not sure where it was now, somewhere in NE England, there was a weird split 4 way junction. Split in that the road crossing the main road didn't line up on left and right. The answer? Two pained mini-roundabouts. But they were so close together that there was on a single lane between them. If you got two vehicles coming from opposite directions both turning to their right, there was no room for them leading to the inevitable shouting, horns blaring, bumps, scrapes and out right head-on collisions. I think they eventually painted the two roundabouts into one elongated blob-like shape.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bunch of wusses

          At the bottom of a hill in Ironbridge, UK, there was/is an unusual roundabout sign. To take the first left exit it indicates you must go all the way round the roundabout first. If you try to turn left immediately you find the junction angle is very sharp. Going all round the roundabout first - lines you up with that first exit correctly.

          No doubt many lorries have found themselves stranded across the side road - unable to complete their turn or reverse safely. Don't know what satnavs advise - hopefully not "take first left exit".

      3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Bunch of wusses

        ...and choosing which way to go around based on current traffic levels (generally anti-clockwise was a bit quicker as anyone unfamiliar with the junction would tend to default to clockwise).

        I always thought there was something dubious about Hemel Hempstead & Swindon. Getting the locals to drive widdershins is obviously a way to power the town planner's dark rituals.

        Both sound like Ironman mode for auto-pilots though. I wonder if this is a way to delay the onset of full self-driving?

        1. yetanotheraoc

          Re: Bunch of wusses

          Oh just wait. When the auto-pilots are reliably better than humans, the engineers will make the roads worse, because they can.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Bunch of wusses

      I have seen a few tourists trying to negotiate the Hemel Hempstead Magic roundabout at various times, after twenty odd years living in foreign places, I would need to think a little before entering it.

      I have never had a problem going from UK to Continental but have had to pause a couple of times on returning.

      I like the old steam wagons and tractors that decorate a lot of Spanish roundabouts.

    3. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Bunch of wusses

      Bunch of wimps. Real roundabouts can be found in places like Milton Keynes. Why have one crossroads when you can have 24 roundabouts?

      1. Giles C Silver badge

        Re: Bunch of wusses

        I thought my home town of Peterborough had a lot of roundabouts (there are 13 from the a1 junction to my house) until I drove to Milton Keynes - they love them....

        1. Hopalong

          Re: Bunch of wusses

          Yes, a lot of coffee rings where left on the MK master street plan.

          A side fact, the V & H street numbers where for planning only, but they where put on the street signs by mistake, but people found them so useful that they stayed.

    4. Giles C Silver badge

      Re: Bunch of wusses

      Hardwick roundabout?

      This has improved since the built the a47 flyover. But before it was crazy - I used to cut through the back of Lynn to avoid it when coming from the coast (I.e. turn off at the Hospital)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i don't mind roundabouts at least they can keep the traffic flowing. Nothing worse than sitting at a set of lights on red with no other cars in sight as is often the case at many sets of lights down here in sunny Plymouth. On my commute route there was a junction with a couple of mini roundabouts that you could quite quickly go through, then a few years ago they were replaced by a couple of sets of lights, now you sit there on a red light with bugger all cars or pedestrians in sight. And now of course there are traffic light controlled roundabouts, which sometimes work but other times you land up going around the roundabout only to meet a queue on the roundabout that are stopped on a red light half way around.

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
      Facepalm

      "now you sit there on a red light with bugger all cars or pedestrians in sight"

      Our traffic signals are equipped with in-pavement vehicle detector inductive loops. They work well during low traffic times to switch the lights. Unless you get stuck behind a Honda. Which evidently don't have enough metal in them to trigger the sensor. Then you could wait all night.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        some lights are like that here but not all I expect down to the extra cost. I used to work for a shared service centre who looks after Plymouth city councils infrastructure. The server running ALL the traffic lights in the city was a single w2k8r2 box VM (upgraded now I think to at least w2k12r2!). It was one of those boxes that you really avoided having to touch, and if it shit itself it was a P1 with knobs on!!!!

      2. Dr_N Silver badge
        Joke

        Paul Hovnanian> Our traffic signals are equipped with in-pavement vehicle detector inductive loops.

        Is that for some kind of live-action GTA style scoring system for running down pedestrians?

        1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

          "system for running down pedestrians?"

          Funny you should mention that. One of our local towns have the pickup loops installed. You can see the pavement cuts where they install the wire loops and then seal them with tar. But then the crosswalk (zebra) is painted over the top of the loop. Or the loop was installed where the crossing was to go. Those 'in the know' understand that one must stop their vehicle on top of the loop. Or the signal will not change. But this means stopping right in the middle of the pedestrian crossing, understandably upsetting the pedestrians.

      3. rcxb Silver badge

        a Honda. Which evidently don't have enough metal in them to trigger the sensor

        The trick is to stop at the light, then walk over to the sidewalk and push the pedestrian crossing button to get the light to change.

        1. keith_w Bronze badge

          Around here, that doesn't work. The push buttons only tell the traffic signal control that you want a "walk" light when the traffic lights change.

      4. Korev Silver badge
        FAIL

        Our traffic signals are equipped with in-pavement vehicle detector inductive loops. They work well during low traffic times to switch the lights. Unless you get stuck behind a Honda. Which evidently don't have enough metal in them to trigger the sensor. Then you could wait all night.

        When I lived in Cambridge there were some traffic lights like that that weren't triggered by my bike, so I'd have to wait in the middle of the road until a car joined me...

        1. yetanotheraoc

          Yes, until the car won't join you out of some sort of ultra-caution. Then you have to walk back and ask them to please pull forward to trip the sensor.

        2. Dave559 Silver badge

          Regarding bikes and detector loops: unless your bike really does have virtually no metal in it (you rich carbon-fibre show-off, you!), dismounting and tilting your bike until it is near horizontal with the ground, for a second or two, is usually enough for the loop to detect you. I agree it's still rubbish, and motion detectors on the traffic lights would be better, but at least it gets the job done.

          1. rcxb Silver badge

            Build your own induction coil out of magnet wire and attach it to the bottom of your bike. Add some electrical load like a series of resistors or low-voltage LED. Very little weight, and will trigger the loop.

    2. jmch Silver badge

      "traffic light controlled roundabouts"

      The absolute worst!

    3. Dabooka Silver badge

      Have the worst fo both

      Here in the NE* we have a penchant for roundabouts with lights that always operate. 5am on a Sunday? Yep, you can be stuck at two sets on a single roundabout.

      *I am certain other inept councils exist in other parts of the UK

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Have the worst fo both

        "Here in the NE* we have a penchant for roundabouts with lights that always operate. 5am on a Sunday? Yep, you can be stuck at two sets on a single roundabout."

        That's one of the few things the US seem to have done right. During quiet periods, traffic lights flash amber, meaning proceed with caution.

        One of the few things we get right here in the UK is the use of "part time" traffic lights on certain roundabouts. They only operate during rush hour, outside those times they switch off and it's back to normal roundabout rules. It's be nice if that, or the flashing amber for "normal" light controlled junctions, could be introduced here (although I'm not sure how since we already have flasjing amber on Pelican(??) crossings with a subtly different meaning.

        1. Dabooka Silver badge

          Re: Have the worst fo both

          Spot on, a bit like the 'turn right on a red' (left for us) which I believe they do?

          My problem is the creeping in of part time just becoming full time..

    4. SImon Hobson Silver badge
      WTF?

      Sounds like you got the same special traffic lights we got up here ! Specially designed to show a green light to empty roads, but turn red when a car approaches.

      Except for certain junctions where they put a mini roundabout because traffic lights would work too well. Being tiny, and busy, it can be hard spotting a gap in all the permutations of incoming traffic that you could be pulling out in front of - and when you spot one, you then find the car you've just slotted in behind has been blocked from exiting and the car you though you had a decent gap in front of starts blowing it's horn at you.

      1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

        "but turn red when a car approaches"

        Pedestrian safety. Or so our engineers claim. If you can stop a car at the crosswalk when a crossing signal has been requested and then activate the signal its safer than just lighting up the signal at an empty intersection. And then having a car blow through the red light at full speed. Cars are more likely to stop for another car.

        1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

          Except that most of the time there are no pedestrians around to be using the crossings. They just seem to be designed to hold stuff up.

    5. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Pint

      Plymouth huh!

      I raise you Countess Wear roundabout in Exeter.

      1. Santa from Exeter

        Re: Plymouth huh!

        Countess Wear? Surely you mean Exe Bridges!

    6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "i don't mind roundabouts at least they can keep the traffic flowing."

      Depends on the traffic flows. If you put a roundabout in and the predominant flow is straight over, the traffic coming from the sides can't get on when it's busy. A well flowing roundabout, especially during busy periods, relies on reasonable numbers of vehicles wanting to go right to break up the "straight over" flow. It also requires drivers to indicate properly thus giving joiners a chance to get on when they see a leaver coming around and turning off at "their" entry point. And drivers who know how to watch for said exiter instead of just watching the traffic from the right!!!

      Why, yes, funny you should ask, it IS one of my bug bears. :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "It also requires drivers to indicate properly"

        You're kidding, aren't you. You always indicate the opposite of what you'll actually do, to create as much mayhem as possible without risking prison time.

        It's the first lesson new drivers learn: Never ever trust other drivers, they are either barely conscious or simply malevolent.

  4. Edwin

    Check out Freakonomics episode 454

    There's one town in the US doing really well with roundabouts, and there's a fair bit of science supporting them as a good traffic management measure.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Check out Freakonomics episode 454

      > there's a fair bit of science supporting them as a good traffic management measure.

      That's the problem. We don't your science - 4 way stops are in the Bible and the Constitution so that's all that matters

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Check out Freakonomics episode 454

        Not to mention, we know that roundabouts exist in Europe, so therefore roundabouts = comminism.

        My daily drive take me through an intersection that was controlled by stoplights until about three years ago. We're finally to the point where it's rare for little old ladies to stop in the roundabout and waive in an incoming car.

    2. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Check out Freakonomics episode 454

      In my opinion, roundabouts are helping here in Macomb County, Michigan (north of Detroit, of all places).

      The first major one (2-3 lanes, no lights) can be a bit of a mess when certain directions back up, but a particular couple (only yards apart, both 2 lanes) have been a HUGE improvement over the former light-induced gridlock. Most others are small single-lane affairs replacing stop signs that work but they don't experience as much traffic.

      The County is planning more and I'm glad for it.

      I've commuted, I've driven the family around (school, church, errands), and I've even done gig driving (GrubHub). Anything that reduces crashes and delays while increasing general throughput is fine with me.

      Now, if you want to talk about the effectiveness of the "Michigan Left", be ready for a flame war -- many on both sides feel strongly. I've been here 16 of my 41 years and am mixed about it, especially since the devil is in the details about the turnaround distance from main intersection, turnaround width (some are way too narrow), light timings, etc.

      1. HereIAmJH

        Re: Check out Freakonomics episode 454

        Well now that you are comfortable with roundabouts, we'll send you some diverging diamonds.

        1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker Silver badge

          Re: Check out Freakonomics episode 454

          (Either you're joking, and I'm about to ruin it, or you're hinting at the reality which I'm about to detail...)

          That's next door, over in Oakland County, so yeah I've heard about them and know the concept.

          1. Michigan Dept. of Trans. (DOT) used that in Auburn Hills at Interstate 75 (I-75) & University Drive, north of Fiat Chrysler HQ, leading to Oakland University. I haven't driven through that yet, and even if my kids eventually go to OU I'll just use M-59 to get there from Macomb.

          2. Another is under construction a-ways south of there, in Troy, at I-75 and Big Beaver Road. I have been through that area quite a few times, but only to go to a certain mall for a certain restaurant that recently opened a standalone location down the road only 3 miles from home. So again I will likely never have reason to traverse that future Div-D.

          Michigan may have more but that's all I know of for sure. If #1 didn't work okay, they certainly wouldn't build #2, which has more lanes.

          (Roundabouts and Div-D in Michigan are possible. Making Ohio stop the endless construction on I-75 is not. Go ahead and try. Better luck getting them to give back Toledo.)

          1. Hero Protagonist

            Re: Check out Freakonomics episode 454

            “ Better luck getting them to give back Toledo”

            But would you want it if they offered?

            There’s a DDI near me in Naperville IL and it works great, not at all difficult to use and has greatly improved traffic flow.

            Coincidentally, I am an Oakland University alum, and my father was a design engineer for MDOT (40 years ago).

  5. Eclectic Man Silver badge
    Alert

    Hemel Hempstead

    As I grew up (a bit) in Hemel Hempstead, I clearly remember that WE, along with Swindon, had the first 'magic' roundabouts, where there were mini roundabouts around a central larger one. It caused no end of confusion the first Monday it was open, but eventually worked quite well. I don't know why Swindon gets all the credit / enmity for it. (Hemel Hempstead was also the birthplace of Anne Boleyn and was granted a licence to hold markets in honour of her when she married Henry.)

    As for the video, it clearly shows people driving on both the left and the right sides of the road, presumably in contravention of USA road regulations, so the Americans will need all the help they can get. I understand that Japan does not go in much for roundabouts either. They only have about 80 (https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20200106/p2a/00m/0na/009000c ), so when Japanese drivers encounter one in the UK or Europe it can be quite a shock for them.

    1. Adelio Silver badge

      Re: Hemel Hempstead

      I always get the impression the the American version of a driving test is "can you trurn the radio on?"

      1. spuck

        Re: Hemel Hempstead

        > I always get the impression the the American version of a driving test is "can you trurn the radio on?"

        That's not true! We also have the sections on using 750mL cup holders and driving with our knees while eating burgers!

      2. CuChulainn

        Re: Hemel Hempstead

        I was once talking to an Indian chap, who had passed his test there but who was now needing to pass in the UK.

        I asked him how the test was compared to lessons over here.

        He said he drove to the test centre. The examiner came out and checked his name, then asked how he'd got there. He told him he'd driven there. The examiner replied "well, you can obviously drive" and passed him on the spot.

        And an Indian woman in the same position told me she had to drive in a straight line for about 300 metres, and was awarded a licence.

        Contrastingly, a young Pakistani chap told me he had a full Pakistani licence. When I asked him how he got it, he told me he'd gone home a few weeks earlier and bought it.

      3. Vometia Munro

        Re: Hemel Hempstead

        I was warned that they were a lot more fussy about speed limits (this was before the UK had its outbreak of speed cameras) and that stop signs meant stop (well, <5mph IIRC) even if there was obviously no other traffic or pedestrians. And some other quirks involving cyclists and the one-car-at-a-time filter lights. But most of all to not get out the car if the coppers pull you over.

      4. veti Silver badge

        Re: Hemel Hempstead

        "What's a radio?"

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Hemel Hempstead

      "As for the video, it clearly shows people driving on both the left and the right sides of the road, presumably in contravention of USA road regulations,"

      It is marked "how NOT..." and it was produced by the construction company. It even looks like it's not finished yet. Markings and road signs don't seem to be in place yet.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LOL - KY is just now getting their first?

    The NYT article about the first one there shows one in my town. I have personally honked at idiots who stopped in the middle of it to let incoming traffic merge.

    It's a huge improvement anyway. That intersection used to be an all way stop, and traffic would sometimes back up for almost a mile during rush hour.

  7. knarf

    OMG

    That vid will become a classic, its terrifying.

    Maybe a couple or a lot of keep right signs are required.

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells

      Re: OMG

      That video is a visualisation of my brain the first time I came across a roundabout in Spain in rented car with my girlfriend helpfully shouting "remember to go the other way around".

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Re: OMG

        Watch the animated film 'Inside Out' for an amusingly accurate depiction (very near the end) of a boy's mental state when confronted by a 'girl'*.

        *For those el Reg readers of a nervous disposition, and perhaps sheltered** upbringing, a 'girl' is the female of the Homo sapiens species. They prefer boys who wash all over EVERY DAY and clean their teeth properly (e.g. see the Dr Who episode:

        The Doctor: "You like him, don't you?"

        Rose: "He saved my life. For a man that's right up there with flossing***.")

        **There is a world outside your bedroom where you keep all the electronics stuff, you might like to try it some time, it can be quite nice.

        ***Flossing is the act of using interdental tape to clean between the teeth. It is NOT a dance on TikTok****.

        ****TikTok is a popular application ... Warning - FOOTNOTE OVERFLOW -

  8. GlenP Silver badge

    It beats a Detroit U-ey (or Michigan Left as they seem to prefer).

    No turning left at a cross roads, just turn right (on Red is OK if there's nothing coming), get into the fast lane, do a U-Turn into the opposing fast lane and then go straight on at the junction (or straight on, U-Turn, turn right depending on the layout).

    It took us Brits a while to get used to that one when I lived over there!

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Doing it on a highway sounds very American. There are some junctions in London where it's quicker to go straight across, turn around, and turn left, than to wait in the queue to turn right. But that's with urban traffic speeds.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        There are also crossroads in London marked No Right Turn, but those who are keeping an eye on the signs will see a left/right/right sign at the junction before so where the No Right Turn is, you already took the earlier Left then went right-right and go straight over to the right turn you wanted. Clear?

    2. Ken Shabby
      Alert

      Scared the sh*t out me the first time saw it happen, where you go to the left lane to turn right at junctions, from Victoria Road rules

      Hook turns are required when turning right at some intersections in Melbourne which have tram lines running along them. Their purpose is to improve traffic flow by removing turning traffic from the right lane where there is no space for a dedicated turning lane. For areas where trams share the right lane of the road, the use of hook turns also ensures trams going straight ahead are not held up by right turning vehicles.

  9. zbcontent

    Invasion of the roundabouts, thank Gawd

    Having lived in the UK and Ireland for several years, the absence of roundabouts on this side of the moat bothered me. Our stalwart, the four-way STOP, is cheap and cheerful, to be sure, but doesn't cope well in areas with growing traffic due to development. Fortunately for me, we're catching up, at least in my immediate area. Take a look at this one, under construction — a roundabout for Round Rock with a flyover and rail tracks.

    https://communityimpact.com/city-county/2018/12/20/ci-exclusive-check-out-video-of-this-innovative-rm-620-roundabout-project-near-i-35-in-round-rock/

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Invasion of the roundabouts, thank Gawd

      The problem isn't the 4way stop - it's the alternate 2way stops.

      So at every junction one set of roads is a stop but the other might be (4way) or not (2way) so you are never entirely sure if the other car is going to stop - unless you can see the back of an octagonal sign on their lane.

      That's multiplied by the probability that the other car will stop even if they have a stop sign of course.

  10. WolfFan Silver badge

    Yankees and roundabouts

    Do not mix well. Especially Johnny Reb Yankees, as found in Kentucky and, yes, here in Deepest South Florida. There are several roundabouts near me; each of them has skid marks and usually small amounts of broken glass and/or assorted car bits (side mirrors, whole or parts, random metal pieces, other stuff) because the locals simply have no idea of how to use them. The population of Cuban Cowboys and their sisters, Las Latinas Brava, here in Deepest South Florida who also don’t know how to deal with roundabouts but don’t care tends to make things even more interesting. They tend to care only about speed. One of Las Latinas Brava just managed to be clocked at 111 mph (not kph…) just before crashing into a pickup, totaling it, rolling her car, and killing one and injuring three… while being on probation after serving four of five years for vehicular homicide caused by speeding. Speed and roundabouts are an interesting combination. One of my nieces says that the Cuban Cowboys can drive sideways… just not at roundabouts.

    Certain Caribbean ‘tourist’ destinations (Barbados and Jamaica, I’m looking at _you_) have roundabouts at the main entrance/exit to the big tourist airport (Grantly Adams in Barbados, Sangster in Jamaica; Norman Manley in Jamaica put the roundabouts at an extended distance. Grantly Adams has extra value thanks to all the roundabouts on the ABC Highway going into Bridgetown.) I call them tourist killers. It’s not helped by the fact that you’re supposed to drive on the correct side of the road in Barbados and Jamaica. Rent a car companies tend to have to repair a lot of vehicles.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Yankees and roundabouts

      Cuban Cowboys can drive sideways… just not at roundabouts.

      but thats the best place to drive sideways!

    2. Adelio Silver badge

      Re: Yankees and roundabouts

      The thing you have to remember is that each type of junction has it's uses. Traffic lights work well in some places, roundabouts in others. Horses for courses. Ther advantage of rounderbouts is that no electricity or computers required. unlike traffic lights which 1) sometimes do not work, and 2) can be red for you when there is no other traffic. (when will i ever see inteligent traffic lights that can read the cars on the road?)

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: Yankees and roundabouts

        Horses, in case you were wondering, do not work well on roundabouts.

        (To be fair, they're not that good at traffic lights either.)

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Yankees and roundabouts

          But they do have their own special crossings with the button box raised to height where the rider can easily reach it. They're called Pegasus Crossing for some unfathomable reason. After all, if Pegasus needed to cross a road he#d just piggen' well FLY.

          1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

            Re: Yankees and roundabouts

            It's not unfathomable, they're all named after birds, and this was as close as they could get. It's a fucking terrible joke, though.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Alan_Peery

      Re: Yankees and roundabouts

      There was a burst of minor accidents when Cheyenne Wyoming changed a major (for a town of 70k) 5-way intersection to a roundabout.

      Because these were minor accidents it didn't matter that there was a nearby hospital -- it had been important before before the change.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Yankees and roundabouts

        Enhanced business opportunity.

        Wonder what happens to accident rate when the ambulance company wins the contract for road signage?

    4. ST Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Yankees and roundabouts

      > Especially Johnny Reb Yankees, as found in Kentucky [ ... ]

      KY is not, and has never been, a Yankee state.

      Originally, Yankee referred to people from New England - ME, NH, MA, VT, CT, RI.

      During the Western Expansion the word evolved to describe any settlement by people of English Protestant origin - a Yankee settlement - as opposed to people of German Protestant origin - a German settlement. This meaning is prevalent in the Midwest.

      During the Civil War the term evolved again to loosely define anyone from the Northern US fighting for the Union side of the conflict. Today, Southerners still refer to Americans from the Northern States as Yankees.[*]

      At the start of the Civil War, KY declared itself neutral, but ended up under Union control after some confederate general tried to engineer a coup to bring KY to the CSA. KY then asked the Union for help, and stayed under Union control for the duration of the Civil War.

      Today, Yankee loosely refers to anyone from the Northeast Coast of the US. The precise meaning of the word varies by region.

      -----

      [*] They also refer to the Civil War as The War Of Northern Aggression. Go figure. If you visit a Southern State, it's best to stay clear of the Civil War topic altogether.

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Yankees and roundabouts

        "The War Of Northern Aggression" should the called "The War Of Southern Stupidity" as one prominent Louisiana educator pointed out before the war. The prominent educator, first president of Louisiana State University, was a certain William T. Sherman whose boys were very liberal with matches in Georgia, South Carolina (very, very liberal), and North Carolina.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Yankees and roundabouts

          On behalf of HMG may I apologise.

          It's normal policy when abandoning a colony granting independence, to split it into two states, preferably on religous or ethnic lines. This then allows the two halves to wage war on each other and leave the rest of the world in peace.

          Due to an administrative oversite and a lack of French cooperation, the USA was forced to implement this plan informally themselves - and naturally made a mess of it.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Yankees and roundabouts

        "During the Civil War the term evolved again to loosely define anyone from the Northern US fighting for the Union side of the conflict. Today, Southerners still refer to Americans from the Northern States as Yankees.[*]"

        And when you look at a map of which States were Confederate and Union, even using the terms "northern" and "southern" becomes a bit of a misnomer when labelling the sides.

    5. greenup

      Re: Yankees and roundabouts

      There is a roundabout here that keeps getting repeatedly destroyed by people not paying attention; Unlike the Kentucky one, it has a raised brick center that people keep driving into. They have added some extra (rope?) lights to it, but not sure even that will help.

      https://www.khq.com/news/police-alcohol-speed-believed-to-be-factor-in-mans-fatal-crash-into-liberty-lake-roundabout/article_a40e0da6-e9c4-11e9-af1e-d7c910840c47.html

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Yankees and roundabouts

        greenup,

        Have they not tried landmines?

  11. Brian Miller
    Boffin

    Drive on the right? Hello??

    I was absolutely shocked to see the locals driving on the left, the right, and wherever. This is a place that needs a sign, "STAY THE F*** RIGHT". There are roundabouts in the greater Seattle area, and I have never seen driving like that in the video. Sure, I have seen people driving over the circle, but never hanging a left like that.

    Really, the cops should get out there and hand out tickets for idiots driving on the wrong side of the road. Or just use it as a driving test: if you can't figure out a roundabout, you lose your license for life. Move to another state and try again.

    1. TomPhan

      Re: Drive on the right? Hello??

      In the greater Seattle area you can go around clockwise if you're driving something too large to go around anti-clockwise.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Drive on the right? Hello??

        there must be a funny definitiion of "round" in Seattle then!

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: Drive on the right? Hello??

          A 90 degree turn vs a 270 degree turn?

      2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

        Re: Drive on the right? Hello??

        That's legal here - UK - too, as long as you take appropriate care.

  12. iron Silver badge

    > pointless roundabouts that only serve to underline how much you hate the talk navigator chiming in...

    Can't say I've ever experienced that. Oh but I've never used sat nav, having learned to read at an early age - did you know they put signs on roads that tell you where they go? Amazing, what will they think of next?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ah thats great, I have been specifically asking them to put up road signs showing the way to my auntie Helga's house for years. Glad to hear this level of navigation detail is now available on signs.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pint

        Itinerary

        The RAC used to to do them, we used one for years when my Dad was driving to Brandon, Suffolk to visit family.

        While scenic & handy for visiting Avebury (Shortly after the transmission of Children of the Stones*), the route adapted as over the years it got increasingly inaccurate & better alternative routes found (The M5/M4 also helped).

        I seem to recall Father specifically asked for it to avoid London, although A30, A303 - London Circulars & A11 strikes me as being a much more direct route than faffing about in Wiltshire (Scaring the crap out of him with the Magic Roundabout), Oxfordshire & Bedford.

        Years later I also got a lot of driving experience on the "route" (One year three weddings) while on L plates as he really didn't enjoy driving out of his comfort zone.

        *I did wonder if we were going to be able to leave the place or be joining The Happy Ones.

    2. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
      Coat

      Signs ...

      "... they put signs on roads that tell you where they go ..."

      Signs around here have evolved differently:

      Assuming you have managed to spot a sign inside the roadside foliage, and that nobody has used it as a canvas for their "artwork", you will now find you are heading to somewhere you have never heard of (e.g. Little Hissingdown), rather than the major metropolis you desired.

      Other signs are placed on approaches to junctions to tell you that you should have changed lanes some time ago, and it's now far too late to do anything about it.

      Painted signs on the roadway exist only to confirm you are in the wrong lane - as soon as the traffic starts moving and reveals them.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Signs ...

        At least the UK has one agency planning the stuff.

        Here the motorways are federal, so there are no signs to the motorway on the surface streets because that's not their jurisdiction. The motorway numbers 'junctions' but in the city a junction can be every block, junction numbers get skipped so J32 can be immediately after J20 or you can have J20a,b,c,d,e because some suburb was built.

        The local signs are the city responsibility, but the city can change every few miles, the same road can change name. There is no standard road numbering outside motorways.

        Then in the city there is the same road east/west or north/south with the same building numbers.

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Signs ...

          "At least the UK has one agency planning the stuff."

          Not really. In London for example, it can be Highways England, Transport for London or the local boroughs.

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: Signs ...

            But there is one nationwide standard set of regulations, the TSRGD that all highways authorities are required to follow. Of course, that doesn't stop local idiots being idiots.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Signs ...

        "Other signs are placed on approaches to junctions to tell you that you should have changed lanes some time ago, and it's now far too late to do anything about it."

        York outer ring road on the northern side used to be like that. They widened the road so there was two lanes approaching the roundabout. It was pot luck whether the left lane was left only of left/straight on and/or the right lane might be right only or right/straight on. Only the left OR the right would allow straight on but the signage was well down the two lane stretch and if you didn't already know then you could be stuffed during rush hour when buses and lorries blocked the view of the sign in the distance. It took a few years, but they did eventually put signs up at the point the single lane split into two.

    3. Lunatic Looking For Asylum

      Great Idea BUT sh*t implementation

      Pet peeve - traffic management signs on motorways - e.g. A123 closed at J92. Where the F is that - I might know the A123 and J92 if I live on it but as a passing driver no chance. If they said A123 closed at THE NEAREST TOWN TO THE CLOSURE it may actually help.

      Other than that, signs are a good way to go.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Great Idea BUT sh*t implementation

        I'm the exact opposite. Road junctions on the motorway all have little numbers on, and when I read "Delays at J32 - Lower Slaughter" as I am passing J9, I know it's a while away. "Roadworks between Utterly St. Michael and Shitterton" is useless for that.

        1. Nosher

          Re: Great Idea BUT sh*t implementation

          I've been driving the A14 for decades, including 12 years' commuting on the section from Haughley to Cambridge, but even now I only have the vaguest recollection of the junction number I used to exit onto the Science Park every day. However I would know instantly where Milton, Newmarket Road, actual Newmarket, Huntingdon, Kettering, Rugby, Ipswich, Felixstowe and probably most of the other junctions are.

          1. veti Silver badge

            Re: Great Idea BUT sh*t implementation

            When I see one of those announcements, I find myself actively looking at the junction numbers for a change so I can work out roughly how far it may be. Once out of the car, of course, I forget all that information, but that's OK, it's not something I'm likely to need again until next time.

            The trouble with denoting junctions by nearest town is that it's ambiguous. What if there are three towns near the junction, which one do you personally know it by? Or if there are multiple junctions near $TOWN, which one is it talking about?

            1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

              Re: Great Idea BUT sh*t implementation

              Even if you pass a sign , and thereby work out your current junction number , the big question is :

              Is "Delay at junction X" before or after you were planning on getting off? - becaause you still dont know the junction number for that exit.

        2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: Great Idea BUT sh*t implementation

          In my experience, radio announcements advising that there is a traffic holdup on the "M5" just after junction 28, decide to make their presence known just as you pass junction 28.

          Icon - Because when helplessly stuck in a traffic jam (Or passing a services), one of the kids (Or wife) will spontaneously decide that now is the time to express their urgent need for a piss.

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: Great Idea BUT sh*t implementation

            The useless ones for me are "traffic holdup on A64 eastward after the Fulford turnoff". Where the F is that? "Traffic holdup on A64 eastward after A19 turnoff" is the only thing that is navigable on the ground without pulling over and checking a map.

      2. CuChulainn

        Re: Great Idea BUT sh*t implementation

        That's funny.

        Last week, on the first day after lockdown was lifted, I was out on business. And I got stuck in a stinking traffic jam in the middle of the day because of roadworks which had closed off a right turn towards the motorway.

        The laughable part was that they had left up the 'advanced warning' signs telling you it was going to be closed from whichever date (now in the past) - thus helpfully allowing you to avoid it through forward planning.

        But the question that immediately occurred to me was 'how the f--- would I have seen that in the middle of the lockdown?'

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Great Idea BUT sh*t implementation

        A1(M) closed after A167.

        Not helpful when the A167 has FOUR junctions with the A1 about 20 miles apart (Newton Aycliffe, Chester-le-Street, Gateshead (The Angel) and Newcastle)

        Admittedly, it could only really be one of the first two, since by Gateshead and Newcastle, it's just the A1, not the A1(M). (For those who don't know, much of the A167 used to be called the A1 many years ago, winding through all the towns and villages of the North East, including crossing the Tyne bridge right through the city centre, hence the multiple junctions with the "new" A1.)

      4. Peter Ford

        Re: Great Idea BUT sh*t implementation

        Further to that, where I am in Kent there are many smaller lanes that work as short cuts and alternative routes, but around March/April there is a rash of road resurfacing (presumably something to do with budget needing to be used or newly available).

        So they put up a sign saying 'ROAD CLOSED AHEAD'. But that could mean:

        'The road you are on is closed just around the corner',

        'The road that turns off this road that you were not planning on using is closed',

        'This road is closed about five miles past the last alternative route you could have taken'

        or

        'The road was closed yesterday but we forgot to remove this sign'

    4. vtcodger Silver badge

      Clearly, you've never driven in Boston. Not only do they not have signs that tell you where roads go, they have street signs that somehow never reveal the name of any street that you'd be likely to use. My understanding is that they feel that if you don't know where you are and where you are going, you don't belong there.

      1. Caver_Dave Silver badge

        Boston signposts

        My 2nd ever experience of driving in the US was after getting off a plane in Boston, late at night, in a thunderstorm and having to drive up the interstate, on my own, to a hotel in the middle of no-where. And coincidentally, that was where I found a useful sign in Boston - no-where!

        I just took a bearing (based on the orientation of the airport buildings and my ability to tell north) and went. Luckily, I had some written instructions for finding the hotel, once I had got off the Interstate at the correct junction. (I got off wrongly once in the sticks and had to do miles to get back on again,) (Pre satnav on mobiles days!)

        I had no idea when I rocked up to work in the UK that morning (after an exhausting weekend underground) that I would be leaving for a plane in under 2 hours, and getting to bed at 04:00 UK time in another country that night. I was definitely office based; that was one of only two trips for work in 18 years at that place. Luckily my ESTA was just in date from the first time I had been to the US, for a family holiday.

      2. H in The Hague Silver badge

        "Clearly, you've never driven in Boston."

        The original one, in the Parts of Holland (now Lincolnshire), or the new one, in Massachusetts?

      3. Snake Silver badge

        Boston?

        No, clearly you never traveled in New Jersey before the 1990's. Roads were labeled by route numbers - exclusively. No destinations, sometimes not even a direction (if there was a single exit leading to that single direction). Just "46", "17", "95" "3", etc.

        1. vtcodger Silver badge

          Re: Boston?

          Roads were labeled by route numbers - exclusively. No destinations, sometimes not even a direction ...

          On top of which, even in following decades, there are places on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River opposite NYC where so many numbered routes merge into a single stretch of expressway that there isn't room on the signs for all the route numbers. Thus you end up with the GPS telling you to take route N in 200 feet and you have no information whatsoever as to whether N is the right fork or the left fork. This is not especially fun.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Boston?

            Perhaps this was necessary to reduce the number of casual visitors to the Garden State ?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Boston

        Business trip to Boston, years back. This was before GPS units were common, so I had a paper map and needed to navigate using my brain. I left the airport and stopped somewhere for food. After eating, I knew I needed to head north on (I think) either I93 or I95. I came across a big sign showing two options. Option 1: N on I93/S on I95.

        Option 2: S on I93/N on I95.

        I figured either i couldn't go wrong, or I couldn't choose right. I got to my hotel, so...

        (I could be wrong about the exact pairing of Interstatesl

      5. David 132 Silver badge
        Coat

        Clearly, you've never driven in Boston.

        Or been a pedestrian in Venice (not a lot of drivers around those streets.)

        No street-signs of any sort; if you're lucky, you'll happen upon a location where some helpful soul has chalked "PIAZZA SAN MARCO --->" on the corner of a building. Cos all navigation directions are referenced from St Mark's - so if you can get back there...

        Dark, narrow, medieval streets, very little street-lighting, canals everywhere waiting for the unwary to stumble into them... it's a lovely city but trying to find my way back one evening after dark was some serious Don't Look Now shit.

        Icon - that's my coat. No, not that red cloak.

      6. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Too many times I've been driving somewhere peering out of the window saying: street name... Street Name..... STREET NAME!!!!!!!!!! 'ull seems to be particularly bad at this.

  13. DLSmith
    FAIL

    Do what did you expect?

    So you had great expectations of the denizens of rural Kentucky grasping the concept of how a roundabout is navigated? Just because they can (sort of) drive a vehicle, doesn't mean they can read signs and understand internationally accepted icons for traffic control.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Do what did you expect?

      I blame Apple. Kids today don't know which way is clockwise.

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Do what did you expect?

      West Virginia is even worse and the saying in the South is "Thank God for Mississippi"

    3. DryBones
      Thumb Down

      Re: Do what did you expect?

      Now point out the signs and guide-markings in that video.

      Hint: There aren't any.

      Self-inflicted screwup.

  14. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Paved center section

    Not just for boat trailers and caravans. We have logging operations, windmill parts delivery and wing spar shipping (Boeing) that involve maneuvering 100+ foot parts down roadways. These are not going around the circle.

    1. Alan_Peery

      Windmill blade delivery

      may not be a problem.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqR1qlsk2hM

      1. DJV Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: Windmill blade delivery

        My reaction to that video was... FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!!!!

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Windmill blade delivery

          I think that is a very fair comment. One of these may relax you -->

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Windmill blade delivery

          Me too!!!!! Looks like a very special adjustable mount point on that trailer so they could lower and raise the "load". Wow! Just...wow!

  15. theOtherJT

    It'll be alright...

    ...they can just do what they've done at all the roundabouts around here and just put traffic lights on them in the name of "Traffic calming" so they operate exactly like a 4 way stop anyway and screw up the traffic flow.

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: It'll be alright...

      Traffic lights are necessary on roundabouts with uneven traffic flow, where the vehicles on the major road block all the minor roads pretty much continually. They're still far more efficient than a four way crossroads with lights.

      1. druck Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: It'll be alright...

        No, traffic lights on roundabouts indicate that the roundabout should never have been put there, but those responsible can't lose face by ripping it out and making it a normal traffic light controlled junction again, so they make it both which is far worse than either.

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: It'll be alright...

          It isn't worse than neither. It's massively more efficient to have a signal controlled roundabout than a four-way light.

  16. Peter2 Silver badge

    Well ok, somebody who's never seen a roundabout might not know how to use it, having ignored that section of their equivalent of the highway code because there wasn't one in five hundred miles of anywhere they were expecting to drive. Fair enough.

    Surely for the cost of a safety campaign which will inevitably miss the people you need to reach you could just liberally cover the roundabout with one way signs pointing the right way? And if the locals are confused by the "give way to vehicles already on the roundabout" thing then post half a dozen signs saying that on the approaches just to be sure.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Expecting people to read signs?

      This is rural America, reading is for nerds/democrats/liberals/

      1. DryBones

        Please point out the signs shown in the video. :)

  17. TheOldBear

    Boston MA Roundabout rules

    A few years a go, on the NPR program "Car Talk" the hosts provided the simple, New England specific rule for roundabouts.

    The rule is "The biggest, ugliest vehicle has right of way"

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Boston MA Roundabout rules

      Here the rule at 4way stop is: Range Rover driver with the most bling sunglasses goes first

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      The Rule

      "Never pull out on a vehicle requiring extensive body repair"

    3. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Boston MA Roundabout rules

      The rule is "The biggest, ugliest vehicle has right of way"

      With a rifle rack in the cab and a sign on the bumper saying 'guns don't kill people, I do...'

    4. Swarthy

      Re: Boston MA Roundabout rules

      I frequently subscribe to "The law of gross tonnage". Alternately: "If their tires are bigger than your vehicle, they go first."

  18. Arbuthnot the Magnificent

    They should think themselves lucky...

    They should see the abomination that is Durham Gate roundabout. The person that designed that should be strung up.

  19. tekHedd

    They're very trendy because... um...

    When roundabouts started appearing everywhere in CO, I researched them. What I learned:

    1. The only documented benefit they offer is that they slow down traffic

    2. Incredibly dangerous for bicyclists

    #1 I assume is the great appeal. I won't disagree that most other drivers slow down considerably when entering a roundabout. ("Wheeee!" *squeal*)

    However, here in "bike friendly" Fort Collins I don't understand why this trumps the problems of #2...

    1. Jos V

      Re: They're very trendy because... um...

      Not so sure about slowing things down, but one in my home town had a nice tendency. It was slightly sloped to let water flow out from the center outwards.

      In the summer, oil and other liquids from vehicles spilled from the engines or the nearby car wash residue would spin of them and deposit and stick to the road during dry spells.

      Which made it a lot of fun to drive around on it after a fresh downpour a couple of weeks after. Lots of bicycles and scooters and motorbikes would spin out and crash on on it.

    2. cmdrklarg

      Re: They're very trendy because... um...

      I'm in MN, and in my small city they replaced two very busy intersections from 4 way stoplights to two lane roundabouts. I love them.

      Before, you could sit at the stop lights a loooong time, and traffic would inevitably back up making the stoplights worse. With the roundabouts traffic flows very nicely.

    3. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: They're very trendy because... um...

      Both of those are 'alternative facts'. Roundabouts are by far the most efficient intersections apart from grade-separated ones with bridges etc. They aren't any worse for cyclists than other intersections with the same throughput. (As a cyclist, I'd get off and walk through some major roundabouts - but the same goes for regular intersections too, because they're no safer if they're as big and complicated.)

      1. yetanotheraoc

        Re: They're very trendy because... um...

        "As a cyclist, I'd get off and walk through some major roundabouts"

        In roundabouts in New England, there is nowhere to walk, nor any place to get off, in most cases not even any alternative route. I'll grant you they are not any worse than other intersections, in the sense that all intersections should be rated 100% unsafe.

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: They're very trendy because... um...

          "there is nowhere to walk, nor any place to get off"

          What do pedestrians do? If there's nowhere for a pedestrian to walk in reasonable safety, I'd generally consider that somewhere I wouldn't want to ride a bike. I understand large parts of the US are like that; where that is the case, you have much bigger problems than roundabouts :)

  20. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Heh.

    I spent a couple of weeks in France in '78. At that time the rule was you had to yield to people entering the roundabout. Come 5pm, every city in France was filled with pretty star-shaped traffic jams courtesy of this witless law. Traffic helicopter footage was eagerly lapped up by the news program audiences.

    Changed now to doing it the sensible way.

  21. David 132 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    If you want a prime example of how not to drive...

    ...this just popped up in my feed yesterday.

    Two idiots with a 10' tall U-Haul truck in an ~8' high underground parking garage, wondering why it won't go forward/backward/turn. As you watch, it gets worse and worse. I'm laughing, but tempered with a certain "these chucklefucks are allowed to drive on public roads, and they're not the only ones out there" dread...

    https://youtu.be/Hhk7m1SSmRs

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: If you want a prime example of how not to drive...

      I wonder what the brown "water" was? Dirty water in the sprinkler system? Dirt on the roof of the van? Or did they break and overhead sewage line from the building above? <shudder>

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: If you want a prime example of how not to drive...

        The consensus on t'Reddit seems to be that it was just dirt being washed off the top of the truck, which is literally the most boring explanation possible.

        What amused me was the way the driver reversed, the truck hit the overhead roof beam, and his passenger got out and looked everywhere except up.. "nope, there's no curb behind you, we must have imagined that loud crash and the truck almost coming off its frame, try again... repeatedly..."

  22. TeeCee Gold badge

    Many years ago....

    ...on one of the Classic car forums, there was a post from an owner in Florida.

    Not far from his house they'd built a new mall. While working out how to connect the mall slip road to the highway adjacent, one of the local road planners had a lightbulb moment and decided to try out this "Roundabout" thing he'd seen on his travels in Yurop.

    Cue the installation of the only roundabout within an extraordinarily large number of miles, thus ensuring that nobody approaching it for the first time had ever seen one before.

    Fortuitously, the landscaping process had provided a tree-shaded grassed area adjacent to this new-fangled road menace, handily equipped with a bench to sit on.

    His favourite pastime was to wander down there with a sixpack of beer, to sit and watch the accidents.

  23. lglethal Silver badge
    Go

    Best roundabout in the world...

    ... that I've come across was between Thailand and Laos. Since in Thailand they drive on the correct side of the road and in Laos they're heathens that drive on the right, both sets of traffic enter the roundabout from different lanes, and proceed to go in what ever direction they feel like in order to try and get to the other side and on to the legal side for the destination country. Needless to say that was something of an experience. Not necessarily one i am interested in repeating... (Both Laos and Thailand are awesome but im not sure i want to be crossing that border by car again!)

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Best roundabout in the world...

      You've reminded me of the XKCD rotary supercollider...

  24. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    Britain's Scariest Junction

    Just wait until you get one of these: The Hanger Lane Gyratory System.

    "The Hanger Lane gyratory is a multi-lane rectangular gyratory – having the Hanger Lane underpass, under its southern limb, for the Western Avenue (A40). It enables intersection with the North Circular (A406) and the inceptive Ealing Road towards Wembley. It is in the north of the borough of Ealing in west London.

    and

    An above-ground section of the London Underground* Central line passes under the structure which takes the form of a rounded-corner rectangular roundabout.

    and

    The junction became a gyratory in the early 1980s when the western side of the loop was built. In December 2007 it was named Britain's scariest junction."

    from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanger_Lane_gyratory

    Pictures at: https://www.google.com/search?safe=strict&rls=en&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=Hanger+Lane+gyratory+system&client=safari&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjO_6jnp5_wAhXOUBUIHQ_hCwgQjJkEegQIBxAB&biw=1807&bih=987

    *Yes, some of London's Underground railways are actually above ground, it was cheaper, I guess.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Britain's Scariest Junction

      And there are quite a few cases where the Underground passes over the Overground.

    2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: Britain's Scariest Junction

      There's an old joke about someone missing their exit at Hangar Lane and reversing. Obviously a crash ensues. The two parties sit in their cars, waiting for the police. Police turn up and talk to the driver in the rear car first. Then they tell the driver in the first car 'it's OK, you can go, the other guy's clearly drunk, he thinks you were reversing round the Hangar Lane Gyratory System'...

      TBH, I've never found it notably complex.

  25. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Man

    Man... as a US'ian, I can say that video is some real hillbilly shit. (I've been to Kentucky, and this doesn't really represent it, generally people there are fine. But man, roundabouts are not that difficult.)

    One problem I've seen with the roundabouts in the US though -- there's zero standard for signage, or even a suggestion of what the signage should be, or how they should be set up (...edit: or there is and cities just aren't following it and doing their own things.). The one in the video, that's pretty bad but there appears to be no signage whatsoever. A little sign with a circle and arrows point around it counterclockwise will tell most people what it is, and at least keep them from driving around it backwards. But I've seen one with that, several without it, and several where they decided to get cute and overcomplicated, and have like 3 lanes going in and one going out as you go around the circle or whatever; one of these, the sign is incorrect and shows two lanes going around when actually the right lane splits off with an island, onto a road that has nowhere to turn around (I went about 5 miles and finally did a 3-point turn on the highway, to narrow to do a u-turn; I must admit the 2nd time I got to this roundabout and made the same mistake of trusting the sign, I said "the hell with it" and hopped over the island.) I saw one in Kansas with excellent signage making it very clear what street or highway each exit off the roundabout was, but a freakin' stop sign, making it 100% useless compared to just having a 4-way stop and standard highway signage.

  26. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Kansas City "virtual highway"

    Kansas City has some kind of, I'll call it a "virtual highway" going through, something like a dozen highways combined in these couple stretches of road. (Those couple miles of road were in about the shape you'd expect from having a road having like a dozen times the traffic with 1 times the maintenance.). To stay on the one I wanted to stay on, I ended up taking something like Exit 1B, then multiple multi-lanes split off that offramp (that I didn't take) until something like exit 1Y, which also split off exits, had to gun it left across like 3 lanes of traffic to get to something like exit 1AC (I saw signs for up to 1AF.) Yep, 32 exits in one mile. The signage was good but there sure were a lot of them 8-).

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Roundabouts

    When I was learning to drive, my instructor repeatedly took me to a roundabout on the junction of the A63/A64 at Killingbeck in Leeds. It had very high traffic flow, 6 (I think, memory hazy) junctions and one of the roads narrowed down to one lane as it went under a railway bridge immediately after exiting the roundabout. Not quite as bonkers as the Swindon magic roundabout, but still fairly terrifying to a learner. It was eventually replaced by traffic lights due to the number of crashes. When I asked the instructor why we kept coming to it, he told me that once I could confidently navigate this one, every other roundabout would be easy.

  28. julian.smith
    Facepalm

    Japan's first roundabout; American roundabouts

    There are very few roundabouts in Japan. The few that are there are quite recent.

    Any visitor driving in Japan knows that there is a traffic light approx. every 100m. They are not synchronised and don't have detectors. Traffic lights DO however provide bribes for local councils, roundabouts do not.

    My Japanese wife says that Japanese are not smart enough to work out what to do at a roundabout - they are used to being told what to do for most things.

    America will struggle because of "freedumb"; unfortunately the death toll, whilst contributing to species improvement, will not be sufficient to solve the larger problem.

  29. Jim Whitaker

    Video music

    Really ought to be duelling banjos in the background.

  30. Jonjonz

    Look no further for proof of late stage idiocracy when the dim prefer sitting like morons waiting for a blinker to tell then go or no go, rather than save time and apply a few brain cells to navigate a simple and safe solution.

  31. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Clark Griswold

    "Look kids. Big Ben.... Houses of Parliament....."

  32. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Coat

    Good old Missisippi…

    Is what a friend of mine from Kentucky likes to say, because it keeps Kentucky off the bottom of all the various ratings…

  33. PeterM42
    Trollface

    WOT? "...there are just 7,100 roundabouts in the US"

    Huh! - I think there are that many in Adeyfield in Hemel Hempstead + The Magic Roundabout (6 junctions)

  34. Celeste Reinard

    Dutch invention

    Besides having dutch courage, dutch parties, there are also dutch inventions, and if I am correct, this is one of them. ... And since we are all on drugs over here (me being the saintly exception), I can see where the confusion comes from. ... Of course I am not suggesting they should all get potted over there, ab-so-lu-te-ly not.

  35. SouthernLogic

    Roundabouts are a game of chicken

    Roundabouts are dumb. It makes a game of chicken out of an intersection. Our state is bought into the group think and has been installing them. No one likes them and for vehicles with trailers or for delivery they are a nuisance. It might be OK for europe where everything is cramped into small areas but the US is not built that way and these are not helping.

  36. Roger Mew

    Roundabouts on roundabouts

    Hemel Hempstead was the first to have roundabouts on roundabouts and I taught my wife to drive there. When my daughter was born they opened at the same time about a few yards away the same at High Wycombe. My wife took her test there a few weeks later and the examiner was about to stop my wife going the "wrong way around" but realised she was right and he was wrong. She was the first that had gone the wrong way around some 40 years ago. The traffic has not eased and the problem of traffic has not gone away, but the worst type of roundabout is the split one where traffic has 2 small ones linked, really dangerous and France Loves 'em. The French help, most cars are not fitted with Clignotes, or indicators to you and me, and the driving examiners say "watch where there front wheels are aiming!" You have to realise France is the worst country in Europe for accidents, the following distance for most countries, is 2 seconds or 2dont be a fool use the 2 second rule2 in france it is "Fxxk it" so a roundabout does not help. On most you give way to traffic already using the roundabout, not France, some are not standard, helps improve the accident numbers, then there are lanes, trucks have to go around the outside so if a truck comes on behind you and is going to the final exit and you are going to take the exit opposite even though you cannot see the truck nor if it is indicating, you have to give way to it!!!! Result, you belt around the outside lane making sure you are indicating correctly and cars in front have to give way to you. So in France, wear your dents with pride!

  37. Glenturret Single Malt

    The Magic Roundabout

    Huh! Only five at Swindon. Hemel Hempstead's hexagonal magic roundabout goes one better.

  38. ancilevien74

    There are 2 kinds of roundabout in France

    The 2 kinds translate to roundabout so…

    First, remember that we drive on the right in France with a default priority from the right. We turn around roundabout counter clockwise.

    The roundabout on video Place de l'Étoile in Paris is a "rond-point" with priority from the right (so people coming from outside have the priority).

    The most common roundabouts are "giratoires" where people from outside don't have the priority, so it's a priority to the left kind. As it's not the default priority, every ingress has signalisation to give way.

    Giratoires are easier to use.

    And there are a lot, really, really a lot of those in France everywhere.

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