How Do Roundabouts Work

Why use a roundabout and not a light controlled intersection?

Roundabouts have been used in Europe for many decades and are becoming increasingly popular in North America. Roundabouts are used as intersection solutions are circular in shape and improve traffic flow greatly. They reduce the possibility for crashes that may involve serious injury because they reduce the chance of head-on collisions.

How do I use a roundabout?

Tips for using a roundabout:

  • Know where you want to go before entering into the roundabout; this gives the driver enough time to enter into the roundabout in the correct lane. The outside or right lane should be used for motorists wishing to take their first right or who wish to drive straight through; the inside or left lane should be used for motorist who wish to take all other exits other than the first right.
  • Watch for lane usage signs and road marking to assist you before entering the roundabout.
  • Slow down as you approach the roundabout.
  • Yield to traffic already travelling in the roundabout. Enter the roundabout to your right when there is a gap in traffic and you feel it is safe to do so.
  • Use your right signal for your selected exit point and exit the roundabout slowly.
  • Do not drive along the side of large vehicles (tractor trailers, buses) because they may need more than their designated lane to maneuver the roundabout.
  • Yield to pedestrians. When entering or exiting, remember to yield to pedestrians who may be in the crosswalk at your entrance or exit point.
  • Yield to emergency vehicles utilizing their lights and sirens. If possible, pull over to the shoulder of the road before entering the roundabout or if you are in the roundabout exit and pull over to the shoulder of the road to let the emergency vehicle safety pass.
  • Never make a full stop in the roundabout unless the traffic conditions require it.

 How do pedestrians use a roundabout?

Pedestrian crossing opportunities are in advance of the vehicle entrance points. Pedestrians can then make eye contact with approaching vehicles, cross when safe and seek refuge on the pedestrian inlet before negotiating the next crossing opportunity.

How do cyclists use a roundabout?

Cyclists using the roundabout have two options available to them; they can dismount their cycle and act as a pedestrian as they make their way through the roundabout or they can stay mounted and maneuver through the roundabout safely in the designated lane.

What do you do if an emergency vehicle approaches with their lights and sirens on?

Emergency vehicles displaying flashing lights and sirens always have the right of way. To avoid blocking the roundabout stop for the emergency vehicle before entering into the roundabout or if possible, exit the roundabout and then pull over to the shoulder of the road to let the emergency vehicle safely pass.

What is the difference between a Traffic Circle and a Roundabout?

Roundabouts should not be confused with traffic circles. Traffic circles are smaller in size; are single lane; are usually used for traffic calming practices; and are traditionally installed at locations with lower traffic volumes. Roundabouts are larger and may have more than one lane; have a truck apron; and are used as intersection solutions.

What is a truck apron?

Roundabouts usually have a truck apron that surrounds the centre island; the apron assists larger vehicles in maneuvering through the roundabout with greater ease. Usually the apron has a notably different road surface than the rest of the roundabout (example: stamped concrete).

How big is the Evans Roundabout?

Currently, the Evans roundabout is the largest in the Fraser Valley measuring in at 60 metres. In comparison, the roundabouts in Abbotsford by the Auto Mall measure in at approximately 46 metres and the roundabout in Rosedale on Highway 9 is approximately 40 metres.