Letter to the Editor: Criteria for roundabouts


There has been much interest in installing roundabouts. I have always felt that roundabouts and four way stops are effective since respectful and safe drivers take turns entering roundabouts and drivers generally wait their turn at four way stops. Even when the stop and go lights are not working, drivers generally take turns before entering the intersection.

Here is what I have noticed with the roundabouts installed now in Port Townsend and in Sequim: As a rule, drivers do not take turns or yield to those waiting to enter. When I see a long line of cars approaching from my left (I am leaving the road out of the Goodwill in Port Townsend), the cars speed up into the circle so I have to wait a long time to get my turn to enter.

For roundabouts to work, they need to be fair for all, drivers need to yield to the car on their right that has been waiting to enter. In looking at the proposal to add a roundabout at Paradise Road and Highway 104, there will need to be some education for more courtesy or new laws for the system to work.

I can visualize cars racing down Highway 104 to the bridge and not letting cars from Paradise Road to enter.

Bill Barnet


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Tom Camfield

The difference between 4-way stops and roundabouts is that the roundabouts have those very "yield" signs at key points—which research apparently shows to be most efficient. It's not a matter of "taking turns" and requiring more full stops to clutter things up. At 4-way stops, when arriving simultaneously with someone coming from the right, he/she should be allowed to proceed first--which is why the whole concert is called RIGHT-of-way. When coming to a 4-way stop with your left-turn signal on about the same time as a driver directly across the intersection, common courtesy should stop you from turning left in front of him/her in a competitive way. Beating someone out of 2 =or 3 second seems to make some people's day.

Thursday, March 14
David King

Traffic IN the roundabout has the right of way and should NEVER yield to traffic waiting to enter the roundabout except to avoid a collision with someone entering the roundabout illegally by failing to yield. If there is a collision between a car in the roundabout and one entering the latter will ALWAYS be the one cited for failing to yield.

Unlike four-way stops the idea of a roundabout is to keep traffic moving. As indicated by the signage only the traffic entering has the responsibility to yield, and stopping or slowing within the roundabout to let someone enter from the right is illegal and dangerous.

Thursday, March 14