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Aaugghh!! This happened again...

Old 07-28-21, 08:41 PM
  #1  
Random11
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Aaugghh!! This happened again...

I've complained about this before. There's a roundabout on my daily ride, and yesterday I was approaching it as a car was entering to my left (counterclockwise traffic). I was timing my entry to follow that car when... the car just stopped in the roundabout. so, I jammed on my brakes and stopped too. I didn't want to risk pulling in front of a car that had the right-of-way. With both of us stopped, the car then continued around and I followed. Now I'm thinking I'm partly to blame. Nothing bad happened. It was just annoying. But why did the car stop? Likely because the driver saw me barreling toward the roundabout and didn't want to risk a collision. The drive was really trying to look out for me. So, what should I be doing? I want to keep my speed up, partly because there is often traffic behind me and I take the lane. And of course, who wants to slow down when they are riding anyway? Maybe I need to be a bit less aggressive when following traffic in the roundabout. And instead of being annoyed, maybe I should be thankful that at least some drivers err on the side of caution when encountering bikes on the road.
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Old 07-28-21, 09:06 PM
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CliffordK
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Hmmm...

I don't think I've had a car stop while in the round-a-bout.

One that I regularly do a left hand turn in... 2 lane ==> 1 lane ==> cross 2 lane and out, I watch the cross traffic very closely that is supposed to stop. Just to make sure they actually stop (probably had 1 or 2 that went through too close for comfort).

I think your problem was that you were trying to adjust your speed to just pull right behind a car, rather than clearly slowing to allow the car to pass, then going again.

A couple of round-a-bouts have a speed limit of 20 MPH, which is my target speed (more difficult for bikes than cars).
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Old 07-28-21, 09:07 PM
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Maybe you could go to the next road planning meeting and remind them roundabouts are only good for cars and suck for everyone else
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Old 07-28-21, 09:13 PM
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I have 2 roundabouts between my house and the highway. First thing to understand is to NEVER expect drivers to act logically or ethically in the roundabout. When driving, I NEVER allow myself to be broadside of another car because on multiple occasions, I have had cars cross over into my lane as if I wasn't even there. Like if I'm on the inside, the outside car has cut me off, or if I'm in the outside (in an exit-only lane) the inside car crosses over and cuts in front of me, like more than 50% of the time. Never trust any driver in a roundabout at any time.
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Old 07-28-21, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jayp410 View Post
I have 2 roundabouts between my house and the highway. First thing to understand is to NEVER expect drivers to act logically or ethically in the roundabout. When driving, I NEVER allow myself to be broadside of another car because on multiple occasions, I have had cars cross over into my lane as if I wasn't even there. Like if I'm on the inside, the outside car has cut me off, or if I'm in the outside (in an exit-only lane) the inside car crosses over and cuts in front of me, like more than 50% of the time. Never trust any driver in a roundabout at any time.
I alway time my entry into a roundabout so I can take the whole lane - not risking being alongside a car that suddenly decides to exit.
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Old 07-28-21, 09:49 PM
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Roundabouts seem to be like the metric system and universal healthcare: Americans can’t seem to figure them out even though it’s just normal everywhere else in the world.
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Old 07-29-21, 12:16 AM
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canklecat
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For US drivers, single lane roundabouts aren't horrible. Just short of horrible.

There's a single lane roundabout near the busiest trailhead of our local MUP. It's the entrance to the local Mellow Johnny's shop and popular gathering spot for cyclists and other folks using the MUP. Many of the drivers using that roundabout also ride bikes. But there are still way too many drivers who have no idea how a roundabout works.

Two lane roundabouts are a menace for everyone. Too many US drivers don't do yield, slow, merge or common courtesy. We're lucky if they're even looking at the road.

The safest way to use a single-lane roundabout is to take the lane for the brief time we'll be in the roundabout. If it's well designed -- no excessively wide shoulder that tempts reckless drivers to speed by on the side -- we're reasonably visible.

But a two-lane (or more) roundabout is just a death trap for cyclists, and probably for motorcyclists. If drivers are afraid of missing their turn they'll panic. They won't simply make another lap around and merge safely to reach their turn. They'll either suddenly slow or stop, or swerve and broadside you.

A single-lane roundabout that's too wide or with a shoulder is just like a two-lane roundabout. In my area about one in 10 drivers will treat it the same way they treat the bike lanes, streetside parking and shoulders -- as their personal passing lane on the right side of the road to scoot around anyone who slows or stops to make a left turn.

Another oddity I've seen in recent years, especially in Texas, is the sudden rightward swerve the moment the driver ahead taps the brakes. I see it so often I'm wondering whether this is some weird thing they're learning in drivers ed, or some sort of word-of-mouth thing concocted by the internet. But anytime I'm in traffic and there's a slowdown -- whether on the highways, two-or-three-lane boulevards, single lane residential streets with shoulders, bike lanes or curbside parking -- someone will swerve right into the shoulder/bike lane/etc., rather than simply not tailgating and braking carefully. I suspect some drivers have "learned it" the same way some kids "learned" to ride bikes against traffic, and continue that practice into adulthood: because their parents, grandparents or teachers told them so, albeit incorrectly.
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Old 07-29-21, 12:43 AM
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Our USA auto tradition says that when stopping/approaching at an intersection the vehicle on the right has the right-of-way. Roundabouts in USA are only a couple of decades in use; then add the above stated American inability to understand 'new' things the rest of world finds simple. Although, ....there is nothing simple about a major multi-lane roundabout in London at rush hour, especially for a foreigner 'on the wrong side of the road'. Or anything reasonable about driving in Rome and/or Napoli.


Glad nothing got hurt.

Last edited by Wildwood; 07-29-21 at 01:15 AM.
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Old 07-29-21, 12:58 AM
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CliffordK
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
For US drivers, single lane roundabouts aren't horrible. Just short of horrible.
...
Two lane roundabouts are a menace for everyone. Too many US drivers don't do yield, slow, merge or common courtesy. We're lucky if they're even looking at the road.
I actually detest the single lane roundabouts. They just seem so pointless. Often little more than putting a planter in the middle of the street where once there was a stop sign.

The two lane ones seem a little more logical.

I do think the best place for a round-a-bout is whenever there is more than say 2 streets intersecting. So, you've got an extra street branching out (5 or 6 total branches).

Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Another oddity I've seen in recent years, especially in Texas, is the sudden rightward swerve the moment the driver ahead taps the brakes. I see it so often I'm wondering whether this is some weird thing they're learning in drivers ed, or some sort of word-of-mouth thing concocted by the internet. But anytime I'm in traffic and there's a slowdown -- whether on the highways, two-or-three-lane boulevards, single lane residential streets with shoulders, bike lanes or curbside parking -- someone will swerve right into the shoulder/bike lane/etc., rather than simply not tailgating and braking carefully. I suspect some drivers have "learned it" the same way some kids "learned" to ride bikes against traffic, and continue that practice into adulthood: because their parents, grandparents or teachers told them so, albeit incorrectly.
I haven't thought about that much, but I have learned to think of an "escape" when emergency braking. That wouldn't apply to ordinary traffic though.

And, of course, planning one's stop so nobody is actually harmed.
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Old 07-29-21, 04:39 AM
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Weíve had traffic circles in Philly and S. Jersey for well more than 50 years. A couple of big ones were replaced with protected intersections because people here are dense. There is still a large, busy one near my office. I usually eat lunch in the park in the middle. I see close calls every day.
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Old 07-29-21, 04:49 AM
  #11  
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Seems there is a lack of common sense when people use roundabouts(rab) on a bicycle. Keep in mind a rab is simply a free flowing 4-way intersection. Blasting through at 20mph will likely cause trouble with cagers. When going through a rab take your time and anticipate the move of the drivers around you. Always be prepared to stop. I have ridden in many countries and have not experienced troubles in rabs on a bicycle, including the USA. Of course I look out for my personal safety first and do not consider myself equal to motorcars, and am always courteous towards them. After all they are bigger than me and playground rules apply. Better alive than self righteous and maimed or dead.
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Old 07-29-21, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I actually detest the single lane roundabouts. They just seem so pointless. Often little more than putting a planter in the middle of the street where once there was a stop sign.
I kind of like the single lane ones as alternatives to four-way stops in low traffic areas, but I recently found out some neighborhoods near me put in circles in the middle of the intersections (and signs telling you to go around the circle counter-clockwise) but left up the stop signs. So itís still a four-way stop but with the extra step of going around the circle?!

Iím also not totally sure how itís supposed to work because with a regular one you yield to enter the circle and then have the right of way to exit. But with this, are you supposed to wait for someone else to complete their whole turn before going, or is it ok to enter the circle at the same time from opposite sides?
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Old 07-29-21, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Random11 View Post
Maybe I need to be a bit less aggressive when following traffic in the roundabout.
Yep. Give the driver some indication you are aware and are going to act predictably. Maybe a nod or lift a hand, make it obvious you are slowing. Lots more close calls here https://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/
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Old 07-29-21, 07:25 AM
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When in downtown Indy I have had drivers stop at a multilane intersection with no stoplight/stop sign while I am stationary waiting for the light to change. Cars whizzing by in the other lanes while they try to wave me across, I usually just stare at them like they are crazy and wait until they get mad and pull through in a huff. With these kinds of drivers roundabouts can be dicey at best.
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Old 07-29-21, 07:32 AM
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Roundabouts are simple. Look left, turn right.

To the OP...find somewhere else to ride besides the roundabout.
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Old 07-29-21, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbiRobbi View Post
I kind of like the single lane ones as alternatives to four-way stops in low traffic areas, but I recently found out some neighborhoods near me put in circles in the middle of the intersections (and signs telling you to go around the circle counter-clockwise) but left up the stop signs. So itís still a four-way stop but with the extra step of going around the circle?!

Iím also not totally sure how itís supposed to work because with a regular one you yield to enter the circle and then have the right of way to exit. But with this, are you supposed to wait for someone else to complete their whole turn before going, or is it ok to enter the circle at the same time from opposite sides?
I have always suspected that a LOT of people simply do not know what yield means. And even those who do approach the rotary trying not to stop if at all possible (rather than assuming you WILL have to stop and wait, and then go when it's clear). Hence, more stop sign-controlled entries to the circles.
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Old 07-29-21, 07:59 AM
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Traffic circles are better than stop signs that nobody uses. Americans will figure them out eventually.

I probably would have going in front of a car that stopped for me in this instance. Generally I will not.
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Old 07-29-21, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Roundabouts seem to be like the metric system and universal healthcare: Americans canít seem to figure them out even though itís just normal everywhere else in the world.
And it's one of those things that we don't want to adopt because the rest of the world is doing it.
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Old 07-29-21, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Charliekeet View Post
I have always suspected that a LOT of people simply do not know what yield means.
I think to a lot of people, the size of one's SUV determines who is supposed to yield, and who is not.
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Old 07-29-21, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
And it's one of those things that we don't want to adopt because the rest of the world is doing it.
I'm 56. I remember being taught about the metric system in school when I was around age 13 in preparation for it being adopted in the U.S.
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Old 07-29-21, 08:44 AM
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We have to remember that roundabouts are still an alien concept to Americans. Yes, some cities have them. Some cities have had them for quite some time, but, most drivers are still in the, "I must stop" mindset. I don't have any roundabouts here where I now ride but when I lived in Arizona I did. People out there "generally" drive through correctly.

It was my practice when I lived in Arizona to look at the approaching driver and signal with my hand for them to go. Most of the time that worked fine. Once in a while I got the "I must stop" type driver. Yes, a bit frustrating.
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Old 07-29-21, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I'm 56. I remember being taught about the metric system in school when I was around age 13 in preparation for it being adopted in the U.S.
Yeah, me too. But it never caught on because people didn't want to give up feet, yards, gallons, and miles.
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Old 07-29-21, 09:14 AM
  #23  
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This happens to me all the time, as well as similar situations where another driver has the right of way but yields to be polite to me.

The law in my state is that cyclists must obey all traffic laws the same as cars. If cyclists and drivers alike would accept the right of way when itís theirs and yield it when itís not, there would be very few conflicts.

While I appreciate someone noticing me on the road and trying to be kind, what I really need is for them to follow the law and expect me to do the same. This is the safest way.
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Old 07-29-21, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I'm 56. I remember being taught about the metric system in school when I was around age 13 in preparation for it being adopted in the U.S.

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Old 07-29-21, 09:30 AM
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rotaries are tough, for sure. each one is different. each community of drivers are different. each cyclist has different techniques & abilities

got a link to google sat view?

take any vids while riding it?

if I had to navigate a roundabout that has pedestrian crossings, I might be inclined to use them, at least once to see if it was safer. especially if there was a cross signal. I have a favorite near me that used to be on a regular 30 mile out-&-back loop I was doing. I got pretty good at navigating it as a 2 wheeled vehicle, altho I admit mistakes. things change so quickly, that, 1 second it's seems like a good idea to launch but then on hind sight, you wish you hadn't


the challenge is the same as in a car. when to enter? what speed to use? (not that a bike has much choice) & using signals



jump to 1 min mark (camera facing back)


I much prefer rotaries made for bikes


jump to 1:27


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