The City of Davis currently has five roundabouts. These are located at the intersections of Fifth Street and Cantrill Drive, Moore Boulevard and Wright Boulevard, Moore Boulevard and Rockwell Drive, Anderson Road and Alvarado Avenue, and at Shasta Drive and Olympic Drive. More roundabouts are expected to be installed in the future.
Benefits of Roundabouts
- Less serious crashes -- Head-on and "T-bone" collisions are eliminated because of the circular rather than opposing flow of traffic. The angles of traffic interaction and slower speed through the roundabout reduce the severity of accidents.
- Environmentally friendly -- Since there is a more continuous flow of traffic vehicles consume less fuel, emit fewer pollutants and there is less noise as compared with waiting at a traffic signal or stop sign then having to accelerate from a complete stop.
- Increased traffic flow -- Overall, more traffic can flow through a roundabout than through a conventional intersection with its stop-and-go traffic.
- Cost Efficient -- When compared to a traditional intersection with traffic signals, the roundabout is less costly to operate.
- Aesthetically Pleasing -- Instead of just concrete, the roundabout centers can feature landscaping, flowering plants and perhaps even sculpture.
How to Drive a Roundabout
- Reduce your speed. Always keep to the right of the splitter island (either painted or raised) on the approach to the roundabout.
- Upon reaching the roundabout yield line, yield to traffic circulating from the left. Watch out for traffic already in the roundabout, especially cyclists and motorcyclists.
- Do not enter a roundabout when an emergency vehicle is approaching on another leg; allow queues to clear in front of the emergency vehicle.
- Within a roundabout, do not stop except to avoid a collision; you have the right-of-way over entering traffic. Always keep to the right of the central island and travel in a counterclockwise direction.
- Use turn signals as follows
- When turning right or exiting at the first exit around the roundabout, turn on your right-turn signal on the approach.
- When going straight ahead (i.e., exiting halfway around the roundabout), do not use any turn signals on approach.
- When turning left or making a U-turn (i.e., exiting more than halfway around the roundabout), turn on your left turn signal and continue to use your left-turn signal until you have passed the exit before the one you want, and then use your right-turn signal through your exit.
- When an emergency vehicle is approaching, in order to provide it a clear path to turn through the roundabout, proceed past the splitter island of your exit before pulling over.
- Maintain a slow speed upon exiting the roundabout. Indicate your exit by using your right-turn signal. Watch for and yield to pedestrians and bicycles waiting to cross, or crossing the exit leg. Be particularly considerate of people with disabilities, children, and elderly pedestrians. Do not accelerate until you are beyond the pedestrian crossing point on the exit.
Bicyclists Using Roundabouts
- Bicycles travel on the circulatory roadway of the roundabout like motorists.
- At some of the roundabouts in Davis there are bike paths in the area that allow for bikes to use alternate routes which do not enter the roundabout. Usually these routes include crossing at the crosswalk. Bicycles must take care when crossing at these locations to avoid approaching vehicles.
Pedestrian Crossings at Roundabouts
- Roundabouts usually have marked crosswalks that cross the streets approaching the roundabout. As with any crosswalk no pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. Roundabouts are typically designed to enable pedestrians to cross one direction of traffic at a time, having a splitter island between lanes. Look and listen for approaching traffic.