Roundabout U

Roundabout U Logo

"Roundabout U" is an outreach program of Washington County to provide guidance and information on a variety of topics related to roundabout design and usage, including instructions for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

  1. Modern Roundabout
  2. Roundabout Advantages
  3. In Washington County

A modern roundabout is one of several types of intersections in which traffic flows around a circular center island. A modern roundabout is NOT the same as high-speed rotary interchanges, once common in the Northeast states. Rotaries are larger and operate poorly because they require merging to enter and require risky lane changes to exit. See Rotaries vs. Roundabouts (PDF). A modern roundabout also is NOT the same as a traffic circle or circle road, such as within the Tamarack Village shopping area in Woodbury, where lane changes may be made within the circle and circulating traffic makes right or left turns to exit the circle road. See Traffic Circles vs. Roundabouts (PDF).

CSAH 19 (Bailey) Roundabout

At a modern roundabout, there is no merging because entering drivers must yield (wait until all traffic is clear before proceeding). There are no lane changes in a modern roundabout because, as with any other intersection, the correct lane must be chosen before entering. Always keep to the left to make left turns through a roundabout, just like at any other intersection.

Roundabout - Forest Lake Photo

Benefits of Roundabouts

  • Accommodates higher traffic volumes than traffic signals with fewer approach lanes
  • Reduces delay during off-peak times; no waiting at red lights
  • Reduces delay on side-street approaches
  • Can improve travel times along a corridor
  • Effectively handles u-turns for cars and large trucks
  • Can provide better access to businesses because of easier u-turns

Navigation of Roundabouts

  1. Reduce speed and prepare to stop if necessary; traffic within the roundabout has the right of way.
  2. Choose the proper lane for your intended movement as you approach the intersection. Failing to use the proper lane may cause a crash or result in a traffic ticket.
  3. Yield to pedestrians within crosswalks; never pass any vehicles, including bicyclists, when approaching or within the roundabout.
  4. Before entering the roundabout, look left and yield to all traffic within the roundabout. The inside lane of the roundabout is often allowed to exit and has the right of way.
  5. When traffic is clear, proceed into the roundabout, to the right of the circular island.
  6. Exit the roundabout at your desired exit point, again yielding to pedestrians within the crosswalk.
  7. Do not enter a roundabout alongside large trucks or buses with traditional intersections, they may encroach on other lanes to complete their turn.
  8. In an emergency vehicle approaches, proceed to your exit and then pull over. Do not stop or change lanes within a roundabout.