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Roundabouts

 

Find information on roundabouts and locations in Halton Region. Learn about roundabouts and how to use roundabouts, as well as frequently asked questions.

Roundabout features

  • Circular intersections
  • Single or double lane
  • No traffic lights
  • Counter-clockwise travel
  • Centre island

Roundabouts reduce:

  • Traffic delays
    • Roundabouts shorten commutes. Eliminating stops at lights reduces delays.
  • Fuel consumption
  • Motorist speed
  • Air pollution
  • Noise pollution
  • Construction and maintenance costs
    • Roundabouts usually cost less than signal intersections.
    • They do not need equipment or maintenance.
  • Crashes
    Fewer accidents occur at roundabouts than traffic lights or stop signs. This i because speeds are slower.
    • Crashes reduce by 39%*
    • Serious crashed reduce by 76%*
      • *Source: USA Institute for Highway Safety 2001
  • Pedestrian accidents
    • Roundabouts are safer for pedestrians than other intersections
    • Pedestrians only cross in one direction and the distance is shorter
    • Motorist speeds are slower
    • All parties are more aware

Roundabouts are generally safer than conventional intersections.

Roundabout locations in Halton Region

How to use a roundabout

Roundabouts are easy to navigate. Using a roundabout is like making a right turn.

Driving in roundabouts

  1. Yield: Approach the line and look for conflicting traffic from the left and pedestrians.
  2. Choose a lane: Observe signage.
    • Use the right lane to take the first exit (right turn).
    • Use the left lane to take second or third exits (straight, left turn, U-turn).
  3. Merge into the roundabout: Find a gap in the traffic and enter with a right turn.
    • Never drive in the lane beside a large vehicle within the roundabout.
  4. Go slow: Circle roundabout counter-clockwise.
  5. Signal for right/left exits and/or to travel through
  6. Going right: Right signal when approaching the right lane. Continue signalling to exit.
  7. Going straight: Select either the left or right lane. Stay in this lane until you exit.
  8. Going left: Signal left when entering and use the left lane. Signal right to exit.
  9. Exit: Check for other vehicles and manoeuver to the right of your lane.

Using a roundabout as a pedestrian

  • Be alert and watch drivers.
  • Find a safe gap in traffic before crossing.
  • Indicate to drivers the direction you are crossing.
  • Use the sidewalks, crosswalks and splitter islands (like a median).
  • Do not cut across the centre island.

Cycling in roundabouts

  • For experienced cyclists:
    • Ride as if you were driving a car.
    • Merge into the travel lane before the bike lane or shoulder ends.
    • Ride in the middle of your lane.
    • Don't hug the curb.
    • Watch out for drivers' blind spots.
  • For less experienced cyclists:
    • Dismount and walk your bicycle.

Frequently asked questions

No. How you yield differs in a roundabout versus a four-way stop:

  • Roundabouts: Yield to the circulating traffic from the left. Drivers choose a safe gap to enter.
  • Four-way stops: Yield to whoever arrives first, or the vehicle on the right.
  • Stay calm.
  • Pull over as far to the right as possible or clear the roundabout to let them pass.

Yes. Roundabouts have a raised area called a truck apron around the centre island. It allows large vehicles and trucks easier circulation in the roundabout.

Note that trucks and large vehicles have a larger turning radius than cars.

  • Allow large vehicles to enter the roundabout ahead of you when appropriate.
  • Allow them to have clearance to occupy both lanes if necessary, by providing appropriate space.

Yes. Snow removal is similar to that of intersections. Roundabouts make it easier for snowplows to turn.

  • Pedestrians go first.
  • Slow down and yield to pedestrians.
  • Never block the crosswalk.
  • Allow pedestrians to walk across completely before proceeding.
  • If a cyclist is riding in the roundabout, treat them like a vehicle.
  • If a cyclist is walking their bicycle, treat them like a pedestrian and give them the right of way at crosswalks.
  • Stay calm.
  • Keep driving around to your desired exit, indicating the movement you would like to make, and, when safe, proceed.

Yes. You must travel counterclockwise, and go with the flow of traffic.

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