Vocabulic* enlightenment


Yeah, this is a regular 4-way corner, but there is a roundabout not far away.

Aha. Traffic circles have stop lights controlling entering traffic. Roundabouts do not.**

I have heard multiple times that both save petrol and are safer; however, I was sure annoyed to discover the fancy ones in the neighborhood above are too narrow for delivery trucks and other long vehicles to negotiate without bumping over the curb and crushing the herbage.

* Word invented for this headline….

** Clarification from Time mag, discussing the trend toward adding roundabouts to our roadways.


  1. kayak woman says:

    We have a series of three new roundabouts not too far from our house. Two are at the entrance/exits to the freeway (M14), which has *always* been a dangerous place in my not-so-humble opinion. The 3rd is at the entrance to the new high school. Yeah. High school. New drivers et al.

    I do *not* like them. They have a tight circumference (probably not too tight for trucks though). People don’t seem to understand how to use them. And, while the roundabouts themselves have two lanes, going around, the *road* is only one lane each way, so you have to merge. Or something.

    There are only freshmen at the new high school this first year so not many student drivers. Yet. I bet the parents will be bad enough though.

  2. Jay says:

    In Seattle traffic circles are little traffic calming devices at uncontrolled intersections (low traffic neighborhood type). You can even drive around them either way – legally. The Roundabouts (there are two in the area I work so far) are the yeild to enter, idea to avoid waiting in line for a traffic signal. What I have read about them is – for higher traffic areas the bigger diameter, the easier for the motorist. All of ours have the planter kind of thingie in the center, and then a “paved, but raised” brick circle, that is not intended to be driven on, except by trucks that can not negotiate the driving circle. So far the two are just the one lane variety, fairly easy to deal with. A two lane one is proposed to replace a traffic signal at a busy intersection. We’ll see how well that goes. Previously, the only ones I had dealt with were at MSU – and they were big enough that you didn’t really think about it much.