This video, produced by the Colorado Department of Transportation, will show you how to properly and safely navigate through roundabouts.
There are a total of 32 roundabouts in the city of Thornton. Roundabouts are used as an alternative to traffic signals and provide several benefits.
Increased Safety: Because of their configuration, roundabouts substantially reduce the most severe type of crashes, T-bone and head-on collisions, that tend to result in serious injuries or loss of life.
Slower Speeds: Roundabouts slow traffic down, promoting lower speeds and traffic calming.
Reduced Emissions: Roundabouts also have an environmental benefit by reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse emissions. Starts, stops, and idling at traditional traffic signal intersections cause vehicles to emit pollutants. However, drivers navigating a roundabout are only required to prevent when there is conflicting traffic reducing pollutants being emitted.
Reduced Delay: Because vehicles can keep moving, roundabouts can reduce commute time and frustration associated with traffic signals.
Reliability: Unlike traffic signals, roundabouts do not need electricity, so they are not susceptible to power outages or other equipment issues.
Roundabouts Driving Tips
Traveling through a roundabout may be confusing and intimidating for some road users. There is a learning curve, and being patient and respectful of others unfamiliar with the roundabout is important. Here are a few tips for users on how to navigate a roundabout:
When approaching the roundabout, slow down. Be aware of bicyclists and pedestrians, and pay attention to crosswalks and signage.
When entering the roundabout, always yield to vehicles already circulating in the roundabout.
When a safe gap in traffic is available, merge into the roundabout.
When traveling in the roundabout, avoid lane changes and passing other vehicles when there are multiple lanes. Pay attention to signage and merging vehicles.
Do not stop once in the circular traffic flow except in case of emergency or crash avoidance.
When in a roundabout, use your turn signal to alert other drivers of your intent to turn onto the intersecting street.
Depending on your comfort level, ride with traffic inside the roundabout or use the crosswalks appropriately.
When riding with traffic, follow the same rules as vehicles and yield to circulating vehicles when entering the roundabout.
Since traffic slows down while circulating inside the roundabout, bicyclists should be able to travel at or near the same speed as motorists.
Alternatively, some roundabouts have ramps on the approach to the roundabout to allow bicycles to exit the road and use the sidewalks and crosswalks to navigate around the roundabout.
Cross only at crosswalks, and always stay on the designated walkways.
Activate the Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons before crossing if they are available.
Do not cross to the central island.
Cross the roundabout one approach at a time. Use the median island, if available, as the halfway point where you can stop and check for approaching traffic.