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Traffic circles !#$&*!

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  • Traffic circles !#$&*!

    There is a traffic circle in downtown Towson I must negotiate on my way to school. Its a fairly big one (for this area, at least) -- an inner and outside lane. Twice now, I've nearly been in a collision because a woman in a silver SUV (it's always a woman in a silver SUV...), in the inner lane, wants to make a right hand turn onto one of the streets branching out. Both times, I've had to react quickly and brake to avoid a collision.

    And it got me to thinking that maybe I'm the one driving the circle wrong. Does the outer lane have to exit the circle at each branch? Or are people just generally clueless as to how to use these things?

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Or are people just generally clueless as to how to use these things?

    Yes, Americans don't have any 'Roundabout' genes!
    "We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence upon those who would do us harm" - George Orwell

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    • #3
      It's funny you bring this up...I just read in the paper today that the town next to me is replacing a bad intersection with a roundabout -- only the 6th in the state. Having acquired a little experience with roundabouts while in England, I'm comfortable with it. However, I'll probably avoid the intersection for a while until everyone else gets used to it.

      I'm reminded of the scene with Chevy Chase in "European Vacation" -- "Big Ben, House of Parliament!"
      Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

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      • #4
        Roundabouts are fairly new to most Americans, old hand to others. They are all over Europe and the UK. Simple fact is, there are idiot drivers all over the world, and it matters very little what situation you place them in, they continue to be idiots!

        Best plan is to keep your eyes (and ears) open when entering roundabout (or crossway!)

        [ 09-11-2002, 12:04 PM: Message edited by: msdobson ]

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        • #5
          I tell ya Crazy.. it's those idiotic Maryland drivers. They act like they are James Bond or something [Wink]
          No partner is worth your tears -
          the one that is won't make you cry. - Anonymous

          <a href="http://www.renderosity.com/gallery.ez?Form.SortOrder=UserName&Start=1&Artist= Raychel&ByArtist=Yes" target="_blank">My Photo Gallery</a>

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          • #6
            Brits, and other Europeans, please correct me if I'm wrong, but this is how I was told to negotiate roundabouts:

            1.If you plan on taking the first exit, then use the outer lane.

            2. If you plan on taking subsequent exits, or going straight ahead, use the inner lane until the exit before the one you want comes up. Then, if safe, move over to the outer lane then take the exit.

            3. Traffic already in the roundabout ALWAYS takes priority.

            4. If you're too intimidated to use the inside lane, and insist going more than one exit while in the outside lane, you must yield to any vehicles on the inside lane that want to move over.

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            • #7
              Stop sign? We Maryland drivers have a license to kill ...

              Seriously, I just want to make sure if one of those loons hits me, that I wasn't the one driving the roundabout wrong.

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              • #8
                It kind of depends on the town that the circle is in. We had one in my hometown in Ohio where the person going onto the circle had to wait for an opening. But there was one a few towns over that was the opposite. People on the circle had to yield for the oncomers.
                On the wings of a dove
                Let's roll for justice
                Let's roll for truth
                Let's not let our children grow up
                Fearful in their youth -- Neil Young

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                • #9
                  I remember a few traffic circles in MA out on Cape Cod.

                  I remember going to Cp Edwards for training in a military convoy.

                  I remember how people played games on the circles with the Deuces towing Water Buffalos. [Wink]

                  I remember seeing what happens when a Volvo (they weren't called "soccer moms" back then) argued with one of those.

                  I remember thinking there were not obvious rules of the road in a circle, because the people, locals included, didn't follow any discernable pattern I could see.
                  "All the people like us are we,
                  And everyone else is They"

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                  • #10
                    I hate traffic circles. I think that the traffic engineer that came up with this mess should have to drive in for eternity.
                    RADAR is the 8th wonder of the world.

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                    • #11
                      I remember being a young new driver in Richmond Virginia there were a couple traffic circles that intimidated me. They weren't ANYHTING compared what they are like in Mexico. The Mexicans seem to love traffic circles they're everywhere and they are good for a major pucker factor.
                      Bill R

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                      • #12
                        I thought it was a new Mel Gibsom movie.

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                        • #13
                          Sig you're right!
                          Mass. is #1 in the country that has rounabouts. but we call them @#$%^ in the @#$ or Rotaries.
                          There is very few towns or city that doesn't have them. In my city alone there is 2.
                          Even though as there are rules as SIG pointed out, during rush hour its every man for himself! ( road rage, Yeah, we got that.)

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                          • #14
                            I have never been in a traffic circle.....But if I am, you will know it's me because I'd be driving in a circle all day til I ran of gas cause I probably couldn't figure out how to get out of it.
                            It's bad enough when I pick my son up from work. People enter the Interstate, merging. I have to get two lanes over, where they are merging and they have to usually get 4 lanes over to continue the Interstate.
                            It's a nightmare.

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                            • #15
                              I feel for you Crazy the circle in Towson is wild. As Im sure you know Columbia now seems to have a million circles. I go through one every day on the way home and have given up counting how many times I almost have been hit. Why can people not follow the lines???? The markers on the outside lane go around the circle and out onto one of the side streets but it never fails people drive along the outside lane and zoom right across the solid line and into the inner circle lane to go to the exit onto 29, GRRRRR follow the lines!

                              [ 09-11-2002, 09:19 PM: Message edited by: edgar ]

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