Roundabouts

Roundabouts are proven to be a safer and more efficient intersection type over traditional signalized intersections.

What is a roundabout?

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Pedestrian and cyclist safety

Roundabouts are safe and easy to use for pedestrians and cyclists. 

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Yielding to emergency vehicles

When you are approaching a roundabout and see an emergency vehicle in the roundabout, do not enter until the emergency vehicle has exited. 

If you are in the roundabout and an emergency vehicle enters, your priority is to clear the roundabout in a safe and efficient manner.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

 Why install a roundabout rather than traffic lights?
There are many reasons for this decision. Traffic studies show that a roundabout allows traffic to flow faster and easier than an intersection with traffic lights. In the case of the Bradbrooke/Gladstone Roundabout there are fewer delays for traffic heading north and south, as well as shorter wait times for traffic going west. This is important because of the railway tracks east of the intersection.

Roundabouts are not as expensive as traffic lights, improve traffic flow, have environmental benefits (by reducing the amount of idling at the intersection) and improve the overall appearance of the intersection.

 Is a roundabout the same as a traffic circle?
 No. A roundabout is a circular intersection, but very different from a traffic circle. The main difference between them is that traffic circles give the right-of-way to entering traffic over traffic already in the circle. That, combined with a large space for merging, leads to much confusion over who has the right-of-way, which causes many accidents. As a result, modern roundabouts have the following traffic rules and designs in place which improve safety dramatically:
  • Yield at entry: At roundabouts, the entering traffic yields the right-of-way to the circulating traffic. This yield-at-entry rule keeps traffic from locking up and allows for free flow movement.
  • Deflection: The splitter and center island of a roundabout deflects entering traffic and reinforces the yielding process.
  • Reduced Circulation Speed: Modern roundabouts involve low speeds for entering and circulating traffic, as governed by small diameters and deflected (curved) entrances. In contract, traffic circles emphasize high-speed merging and weaving, made possible by larger diameters and tangential (straight) entrances.
 Why is Yorkton installing roundabouts when other cities are removing them?
This misconception originates from the confusion between traffic circles and roundabouts. While other cities have removed some old traffic circles, no roundabouts have been removed. In fact, due to their positive reviews and safety enhancements, roundabouts have become more popular in Canada, with more and more cities installing them.
 Are roundabouts ideal for every intersection?
No. Each intersection must be analyzed separately. Factors used in determining intersection control include, but are not limited to: space constraints, current traffic volumes, future traffic volumes, intersection geometrics, level of service analysis, collision history, pedestrian activity and cost. Based on these factors, a roundabout was determined to be the preferred method of intersection control.