Roundabouts are a common intersection type in many European countries - and are continuing to gain popularity in Canadian cities - including Whitby.
What is a roundabout?
A roundabout is an intersection at which all traffic circulates counter-clockwise to the right of a central island. Entering vehicles must yield to all traffic already in the roundabout. The first full-sized roundabout in Whitby was buit on Nichol Avenue in 2013.
What are the key benefits of roundabouts?
- Simplify decision-making as drivers only need to look in one direction for on-coming traffic.
- Reduce the number of conflict points and eliminate the most severe head-on and left-turn crashes at traditional intersections.
- Reduce severity of accidents due to lower speed.
- Reduce vehicle delay by allowing motorists to YIELD rather than STOP.
- Reduce fuel consumption by eliminating idling at red lights or stop signs.
- Eliminate operation and maintenance costs associated with traffic signals.
Driving a Roundabout
- Slow down when approaching the roundabout.
- Keep to the right of the splitter island.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Watch for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Enter the roundabout only when there is an adequate gap in the circulating traffic flow.
- Vehicles in a roundabout have the right of way and move in a counter clockwise direction.
- Do not pass other vehicles or cyclists in the roundabout.
- Always signal before exiting. Maintain low speeds.
- Beware of pedestrians and cyclists crossing the road as you exit the roundabout.
- Give other vehicles plenty of space.
- The truck apron around the center island is for large trucks when turning.
- Cross only at designated crosswalks.
- Vehicles always have the right-of-way in the roundabout. Choose a safe time to cross.
- Never cross to the central island of a roundabout
- Step on the splitter island when crossing so you can safely cross one lane at a time.
- Experienced cyclists travel through the roundabout using the same general rules as any other vehicles.
- Merge into traffic before entering the roundabout.
- Once inside the roundabout, ride in the middle of the lane so cars don't pass you.
- If you prefer to walk your bicycle on the sidewalk, dismount at the ramp. Continue on the sidewalks, following the same rules as pedestrians.
- If you have not entered the roundabout, pull over to let the emergency vehicle pass.
- If you are already inside the roundabout, do not stop. Continue to your exit, then pull over to allow the emergency vehicle to pass.
For additional information about roundabouts, please see below: