Traffic Charlie Foxtrots

When a vehicle is inside a traffic circle, said vehicle have right of way. It does not mean that you can inch your way into said traffic circle.

I purposefully slowed down when I exited the circle, said jerk was surprised that I slowed down. He was most upset as well as he gave me a dirty look.

Traffic circles are still “new” in a lot of the US, so a lot of US drivers are really bad at them. They’re still marked with signs that say, “Drivers in circle have riga-of-way” or similar, though.

I’m OK with the basic ones (single lane), but I always feel a bit unsure in the larger multi-lane ones. I don’t know how I’d handle a big crowded European one like I’ve seen on TVs.

They’ve gotten popular recently as I think civil engineers have decided that they are more effective at handling traffic than 4 way stops and are cheaper to run than 4 ways with traffic lights.

Same here in Canada - they’re starting to take off. I live in one of the few cities in my province which has embraced them with a passion. I’m a fan, particularly because I HATE stoplights, plus the stats showing lower fatalities at traffic circles/roundabouts are pretty darn convincing. Now if we could train drivers how to properly deal with pedestrians at these intersections we’d be all set.

We have tons of new roundabouts. I love them, and people are figuring them out, and now we are adding interstate crossovers where the traffic going over the interstate switches lanes. It’s freaky, but it seems to work awesome. It’s to stop turns across traffic, and it’s pretty cool.

[quote=“Guido, post:255, topic:686”]
train drivers how to properly deal with pedestrians at [traffic circles][/quote]

Isn’t it something along the lines of “Good luck!”

There are a few traffic circles popping up around here, too. I sometimes go through one on the way to work. It is on one of my alternate routes and there are rarely any other cars around, so I occasionally use it as my own personal skidpad, which is fine until I get to work and my backpack is on the passenger side of the back seat. The problem with that one is they put a big, raised planter in the middle, so you can’t see if anyone is walking across on the other side. I go 3/4 the way around, as mentioned, often quickly. Thankfully, there is only one office building around there and it has a parking garage, so there is just about zero foot traffic in the area, but still, I have to be cognizant of the possibility. I believe this satellite view is from just before the streets were opened, and it is hard to see how much the plantings in the middle block the view across.

Sometime in the past year or two, they put in these roundabouts a little farther out in the country along the freeway feeder road interchanges. They’re big, wide, and mostly flat, so even if a semi-truck is going 3/4 the way around, he can either clear it or the back can run up on the small curbing and swing through the center. It isn’t too far from a lake and camping spots, so there is also a lot of recreational trailer traffic (RVs & boats). I couldn’t find a satellite view of the finished product, but seeing it under construction gives a pretty good idea of how that layout is an improvement over the old two-way and four-way stop intersections.

There is one down in our museum district that has been around as long as I can remember, and it is an absolute cluster fsck if you’re not going along with the majority of the traffic…

Why yes, that is a big honkin’ fountain in the middle of FRIGGIN MAIN STREET! It is pandemonium sometimes. If you’re getting off on one of the side streets, you had better be watching all around you and keep the eyes in the back of your head peeled, because the people going straight-ish through just assume everyone else is, too.

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Whaaaaat? I don’t think I’ve seen that yet. Yeah, sounds freaky.

You can find video on Youtube.

The wiki article was good enough, appreciate the link.
So yes, I don’t recall ever seeing that, but… DUDE, neato! I can see that eliminating a lot of wasted time and improving safety, thinking specifically about a couple of the interchanges around here. But, I don’t think they’ll be adopted here anytime soon. From the wiki disadvantages:

Allowing exiting traffic to reenter the through road in the same direction requires leaving the interchange on the local road and turning around, e.g., via a median U-turn crossover. This affects several use cases:

  • Drivers who take the wrong exit
  • Bypassing a crash at the bridge
  • Allowing an oversize load to bypass a low bridge

I can totally see that one being the deal-breaker here. Around here, the feeder roads run along the freeway for miles and miles. In urban areas, it is unusual to see a stretch of freeway without a feeder road. We have business driveways lining them. Texas even has its own subsection (the largest, of course) in the service road wiki article. To do the double crossover here, they would need to build a straight through lane alongside the freeway, which they already do when they have cloverleaf interchanges, which they do a version of here:

But there would not be nearly enough space to do either someplace like this:

Ooh, or here… another cluserfsck intersection:

*The OCD in me is disturbed that the middle picture is actually the farthest north.

Yeah, in town here it wouldn’t work either, but in the growing sprawl areas it might be necessary.

Pfft, in Swindon we’ve got the magic roundabout, which looks like:


Damn, dude, you win. That is unusual. I especially liked this line in the intro of the wiki:

In 2009 it was voted the fourth scariest junction in Britain, in a poll by Britannia Rescue

I’m eyeballing 40, and I don’t think that traffic circles were really covered in my Driver’s Ed classes. Not in rural Virginia, admittedly rural in this case meaning “hour from DC” not “hour from civilization, and you grow nervous when you hear ominous banjo picking.”

I’m probably wrong and they were covered, but as a weird special case forgotten until they became widespread.

I totally believe Pratchett and Gaiman were on to something and that “Magic Roundabout” is part of a long-game to spread psychic suffering and summon evil creatures with too many legs.

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Yeah, definitely weren’t covered here either. In fact, my wife just completed driver’s ed this year (started at 29, I’m not a pedo) and it seemed to me that they only barely covered them, and even then it was during the in-car portion of the class.

They’ve been trying to do an education campaign here off and on - for example the roundabout dance was on TV quite a bit…

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Err, ok, kinda odd song there. Do people actually point to indicate where they’re walking? I guess I’m also not used to places that don’t have lights where pedestrians cross on busy/major roadways. (traffic signals, to tell cars to stop, and walk/don’t walk signs)

The video that queued up after was interesting

It shows a few of my driving pet peeves (especially left (passing) lane campers) and a different (better? more correct?) way of working roundabouts, but my favorite is the instructive and helpful signage before the roundabouts… we so don’t have that here. (not that anyone would read it anyway)

Also… [quote=“Guido, post:265, topic:686”]
29, I’m not a pedo

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So it’s five roundabouts around a larger central roundabout? That’s some Inception level shit right there. :slight_smile:

I remember almost getting into an accident in a normal roundabout down in Mexico a few years back so I wouldn’t be too keen on trying this one, especially with the added challenge of driving on the “wrong” side of the road.


Good heavens! A dirty look? That’s not exactly cricket.

I’d see his dirty look and raise him a finger!

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Got two interesting bridges/offramps in Gauteng here :

First one is close to our DoD : (the so-called Rigel bridge, notorious for its accidents)

And then a larger version can be found in Midrand, just 30kms or so southwards from Rigel…

There’s a fuel station underneath the off/onramps…

And now for the charlie foxtrots…

Unfortunately you cannot rotate google maps, but I have taken a screenshot with satellite view :

Now, South is left and North is right.

There is an offramp running parallel with the highway from Atterbury (left bridge) to Lynnwood (right bridge), both sides of the freeway. In the mornings southbound is clogged as traffic from the north tries to enter the offramp, and ultimately Atterbury road, only to find it clogged by traffic trying to leave for the south (Johannesburg).

In the afternoon, the process is reversed. Traffic from Johannesburg (south) going home in the afternoons, clog up the entire offramp to Lynnwood road, and traffic coming off from Atterbury to enter the highway have a charlie foxtrot to contend with before entering the highway.

So glad I’m not having that as part of my daily commute anymore.

if there’s any more charlie foxtrots, I don’t know about these as I don’t commute that far. And I’m glad for that, don’t need steenkeen’ charlie foxtrots to foul up your day :smile: