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Old 01-02-2006, 03:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Traffic Circle Question

So I had to come to George (small town about 300kms away from home) to do standby work over the xmas and new year period. Now George has notoriously bad traffic stemming from the fact that the roads are too narrow and the town has way too many cars.

The first thing I noticed when I got here was that there were two double-laned traffic circles in the busy part of town. My first thought was "this could help, they shoulda done it sooner", but then I drove through it and another thought crossed my mind: How does right-of-way work in this scenario?

Forgive my crude rendering...


So let's say I'm in the red car and both myself and the blue car left entry-point 4 at the same time. The blue car wants to exit at point no.1, but I'm going out at exit 3. Who has the right of way? Do I have to wait for the blue car to come over or vice versa? Should the blue car not have been in that lane had he wanted to exit at that point? Or is it just a case of courtesy i.e. I'll let you over if I feel like it?

I've had a couple of people just cut across me so I dont know whether I should be apologising or giving them the finger.

Thanks in advance.

*Please note that we drive on the left-hand side of the road*
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Old 01-02-2006, 08:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Ideally, the red car should've been in the inner lane and the blue in the outer to avoid stuff like this. If you are only going one "exit point" you should stay in the outer lane, but if you are going three "exit points" you should go straight into the inner and switch to the outer somewhere between 2 or 3. Anyways, the traffic rules of a roundabout are tricky. Some say you should treat it as a normal stretch of road, so the car going "straight ahead", the red one, should have right of way.
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Old 01-02-2006, 08:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, blue guy made a mistake getting into the inner lane when he was only going to the next exit. That situation shouldn't happen.
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Old 01-02-2006, 08:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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common for densly populated European style cities, efficient at keeping the flow of traffic moving supposedly like a revolving door, but at some point there is a maximum load on the circle and thus no more vehicles can enter it efficiently.

Also no need for stoplights, just stop signs, in some countries I have been there are combos of circles and fly overs so that those going truly straight through the circle and continue at full speed, those needing to enter the circle leave the highspeed track to go to the circle.
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Old 01-02-2006, 10:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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As I recall from driving through Europe (Germany, France, Italy) many years ago, the only rule is that all cars entering the circle have the right of way. What happens inside the circle depends on how aggressive you drive, the inner lane is usually moving faster so merging in and out usually gets you to your exit point on the other side faster.
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Old 01-02-2006, 10:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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almost forgot, it's also a way of easily reducing speeding because one cannot go in a straight line for very long without having to turn through the roundabout. It works well for snowy areas as they can still plow since there aren't speedbumps. It also gives a central area that most cities have begun using them as local artist spaces. Some older cities have been using them to house historical monuments from mausoleums (India) to statues of great leaders (Washington DC).
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Old 01-02-2006, 11:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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well the round-about is a wonderful thing. As to your question, blue car would have to slow down let you pass and then cut across the traffic. If the person can't do that then they go around one more time as not to cut off anybody. It may be stupid to go around again but at the same time if you are stupid enough to be in the wrong lane for your exit then your own fault. Ideally of course you should have been in the inside lane only moving to the outer one, one exit before you want to leave.
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Old 01-02-2006, 12:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Simple answer is that you are both in the wrong - if you are going more than half way round a roundabout you should be in the outside lane (i.e. RIGHT in the UK or SA, LEFT in the uncivilised world), if you intend to turn off before the half-way point you stay in the slow lane.

For any exit, when you pass the PREVIOUS one you change lanes from near the centre of the roundabout to near the edge - that sets you upto leave at the right point.
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Old 01-02-2006, 06:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The red car has it I reckon. Definitely.

If the blue car cannot get out of his lane safely - he/she needs to stay in it. Although it'd be a bit embarrassing, there's nothing much wrong with going round the thing twice.

Don't like roundabouts much myself. Everyone thinks they have right of way....
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Old 01-03-2006, 01:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthetiq
almost forgot, it's also a way of easily reducing speeding because one cannot go in a straight line for very long without having to turn through the roundabout. It works well for snowy areas as they can still plow since there aren't speedbumps. It also gives a central area that most cities have begun using them as local artist spaces. Some older cities have been using them to house historical monuments from mausoleums (India) to statues of great leaders (Washington DC).
There's a notorious roundabout just south of Uppsala. It's after a loooong stretch of straight boring road over the plain, and a bit too much south of the city itself for anyone to really expect it, so they have these raised lines in the asphalt a few hundred meters before that makes the car go BARABARABARA when you go over them just to warn the drivers and make them slow down, but people still go straight across - a friend of mine managed to do that in a truck! I don't know if a monument in the middle of that one would help or cause more accidents. Generally, I'm against stuff in the centre of roundabouts for that very reason. There are a few that have ponds in the middle and that's just a recipe for disaster.
They can do amazing things for traffic flow though. There was a intersection here called "the Red Square" (since you ALWAYS had to wait at a red light there) but now it's a roundabout and it works really well.
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Old 01-04-2006, 12:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hmmmm.

I was always taught that the vehicle on the inner-most lane has the right-of-way, therefore the blue vehicle could cut off the red car with impunity!
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Old 01-04-2006, 12:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Whoever has the bigger gun has the right-of-way.
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Old 01-04-2006, 12:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The red has right of way.
The blue should have been prepared to exit already.

Many dual laned roundabouts also have lane markings indicating that the red car should be xiting anyway, with blue haveing the option to keep indicating right to take a later exit or to stay in lane and exit at 2.
There aren't many multi lane circles in London that aren't broken up by lights to allow entry from the various branches of the circle. This helps people to merge lanes to as it gives them time to get the attention of people in the neighbouring lanes.

But if there are no such 'fileter' lane markings, then red has the same right of way as they would if the circle was bent into a straight road, with 3 left turns and blue wanting to take the first exit.

The polite thing to do, however, if Blue is far enough ahead for their REAR turn signals (not their side or mirror ones) to be visible to Red then Red should slow to allow them to merge.
If Blue can do this and still exit safely, then they should do so, otherwise merge left and continue around the circle again.
('Polite' being the operative word and only available as an option to drivers in the USA's northernmost state of Canadia.)

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Old 01-12-2006, 09:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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It really is like any other piece of road. If you were on a freeway and a car in the right hand lane (in your picture) wanted to exit to the left, they have to pass through other car's lane, and therefore you have to give way.

BTW - in Australia, traffic in the roundabout has right of way over cars yet to enter, plus you have to stay inside the lane into which you enter until point of exit.
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Old 01-13-2006, 05:26 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I live in Massachusetts and we call these Rotarys. I know that the rules are different per state, but here the people in the rotary have the right of way. As far as the lanes go, the red car should be exiting the circle and the blue one would be continuing around. Not sure how it works elsewhere.
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Old 01-13-2006, 10:08 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Simple answer is that you are both in the wrong - if you are going more than half way round a roundabout you should be in the outside lane (i.e. RIGHT in the UK or SA, LEFT in the uncivilised world), if you intend to turn off before the half-way point you stay in the slow lane.
At least in our world we know how to spell "uncivilized."
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Old 01-13-2006, 10:39 AM   #17 (permalink)
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"I prised the lid off."
"I won a prize."
In England we try to remember which is which, in America your grammar became 'lazy' and you stuck to one convention.
See also "Honour/Honor, Colour/Color"

And then you go and mess up the 'lazy' rule by using 'faucet' when it's a 'tap' or 'elevator' when it's simply a 'lift'.
And thus it leads to you guys not even able to carry something as simple as a traffic circle ('roundabout') over the pond.

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_b...sages/785.html
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Posted by James Briggs on March 14, 2002

The following comes from 'Mind the Gaff. The Penguin Guide to Common Errors in English'. by (Prof) RL Trask. Pengiun Books 2001. By the way, he's an American working at the University of Sussex in England.

I was given the book for Christmas and thought this section particularly worth reproducing.
.........................................................................................................................................................................................
-ize, -ise
There are two groups of words here, and these should not be confused.

The first group consists of words which are always spelled with -ise in all varieties of English. The most frequent verbs in this group are advertise, advise, apprise, chastise, circumcise, comprise, compromise, despise, devise, disguise, excise, exercise, improvise, supervise, surmise, surprise and televise, to which we may add the nouns demise, enterprise, franchise and merchandise, some of which are occasionally used as verbs. These words do not contain the Greek suffix -ize and may never be spelled with -ize. British writers attempting to use American spelling sometimes slip up here and write, for example, *advertize, which is never acceptable.

The second, and much larger, group consists of verbs containing the Greek suffix -ize. Among these are realize, civilize, ostracize, jeopardize, organize and trivialize; there are far too many to list here, and new ones are coined almost at will, like hospitalize, finalize and prioritize. These words must be spelled with -ize in American English. In British English, the spelling with -ize is traditional, and is still preferred in many conservative quarters, for example at the Oxford University Press. But the newer spelling in -ise is now widespread in Britain and is preferred in other quarters. British writers may use whichever spelling they prefer, unless they are writing for a publishing house which insists upon one or the other.

Whichever spelling you prefer, you must, of course, be consistent, and use it exclusively, not only with the verbs but with their derived nouns like realization and civilization.

There is a complication with the verb exorcize, exorcise. Historically, this word contains the suffix -ize, and so it should be spelled exorcize in the style that uses -ize. However, many people no longer perceive this as containing the suffix, and so it is sometimes spelled exorcise even in the style with -ize.

Note also the unusual word capsize, which is spelled -ize in all varieties.

http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexper...ng/ize?view=uk
Quote:
Are spellings like 'privatize' and 'organize' Americanisms?
No, not really. British spelling has always recognized the existence of variant spellings using the suffix -ize/-ise. When American spelling was standardized during the 19th century (mainly through the efforts of the great American lexicographer Noah Webster), the consistent use of -ize was one of the conventions that became established. However, since then, the -ise spellings have become more popular in Britain (and in other English-speaking countries such as Australia), perhaps partly as a reaction against the American custom. Spellings such as organisation would have struck many older British writers as rather French-looking. The Oxford English Dictionary favoured -ize, partly on the linguistic basis that the suffix derives from the Greek suffix -izo, and this was also the style of Encyclopaedia Britannica (even before it was American-owned) and formerly of the Times newspaper.

The main advantage of the modern -ise habit? Lazy spellers do not have to remember that there are several important words which cannot properly be spelt with -ize. These include words which are not formed by the addition of the -ize prefix to a stem, but by some other root which happens to end in the same syllable, such as -vise (as in televise), -cise (as in incise), and -prise (as in comprise).

The American system resulted in the creeping of z into some other words where it did not originally belong. Writers of American English should be aware of some spellings that are regarded as incorrect in the UK, notably analyze.
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Old 01-14-2006, 06:59 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Seems to me that the car in front would have the right of way. Every circle in the US I have seen make you yield to enter.
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Old 01-14-2006, 08:17 AM   #19 (permalink)
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It's already been said but, both cars joined the roundabout in the wrong lane.

In this instance the blue car should be giving it the 'wanker' hand gesture, the ideal response from the red is the 'dickhead' gesture or the slightly more complex 'blow it out yer arse, dickhead' gesture.
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Old 01-15-2006, 09:40 AM   #20 (permalink)
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He's in the wrong lane, speed up and go past him.
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Old 01-19-2006, 06:17 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Here's the American response .... go clockwise and drive on the sidewalk.
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