This BLOG | WebSite | About Us | TN|Rumble

Quick Join Bike Walk Tennesee via Paypal

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Roundabouts - pedestrian and cyclist safety

Roundabouts are becoming more common across the state, as their traffic handling capabilities and improved safety become wider known. A single-lane roundabout can handle a traffic flow of around 25,000 vehicles/day with minimal delays, and sometimes can be a cheaper alternative to widening roads. Unlike a traffic light, traffic does not necessarily have to stop; traffic continuously flows more or less. Deadly T-bone crashes are basically eliminated.
One drawback to a roundabout is that although they are statistically safer than conventional intersections when looking at all traffic, they are more dangerous for cyclists. So how should cyclists nagivate a roundabout? Cyclists should take the entire lane, or use the full lane when traversing it (riding in the center of the lane). Why? First, vehicles should not attempt to pass each other within a roundabout. The primary danger to a cyclist at a roundabout is a right-hook, where a car turns right in front of the cyclist headed straight. lf cars do not pass, such a conflict becomes impossible. Riding in the center of the lane also enhances cyclist visibility. Second, speeds within a roundabout are low. They are typically between 10-20 mph. So a cyclist would probably be travelling at the prevailing speed anyway. Bike lanes are specifically not supposed to exist within roundabouts for this reason. Pedestrians should use the crosswalks at a roundabout if they are marked. In areas where crosswalks are not designated, how should pedestrians cross such an intersection?

No comments:

Post a Comment