one cyclist's adventures through the urban jungle

Friday, March 16, 2007

the (traffic) circle of commuting life

The city of Vancouver has a pretty big hard on for putting up traffic circles (aka mini-roundabouts) all over the place. They especially love them on bike routes. Personally, I appreciate them. I don't have to stop or blow through ye ol' stop sign if no cars are coming.

Where the madness begins is that people don't know how to use them. I firmly believe that most drivers haven't a clue about how to properly or safely use said traffic circle. In fact, I am more likely to see cars come to a complete stop in a traffic circle than I am at a stop sign, I see it all the time. At one traffic circle I routinely see gridlock (I just ride around the chaos). I have literally seen gridlock from a block away, ridden through the offending traffic circle (cheating I know) then ridden another full block before one single car has made it through. Absolute mayhem.

For those of you that are confused when using a traffic circle in BC:
• Slow down as you approach the circle.
• Yield to any traffic in the traffic circle. If another vehicle arrives at the traffic circle at the same time as you do, yield to the vehicle on your right.
• Go around the traffic circle to the right (i.e., in a counterclockwise direction).

I suppose that a lot of confusion is had when 2 vehicles arrive at nearly the same time. Generally there is a bit of a whizzing contest to get to the circle first to have the right of way. Just suck it up and give the vehicle on the right the right of way.

I am blown away by the number of people that make lefts by going the wrong way in the traffic circle too, but I cannot cure the stupid. That is another story, I'll stop before rant mode kicks in.

If you want to know more:
ICBC roadsense manual

1 Comment:

Jewels said...

I knew I was right in Calgary when I got honked at and fingered at when I entered the circle!!!!!! I had the right away...the person to my left was pissed that although we yielded at the same time I proceeded as I was on the right!!!

Whooo Hoo!!!! Thanks Danomite