WATCH: Don’t be scared. It’s only a roundabout.
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The following is a news release from the city of Idaho Falls.
The City of Idaho Falls, working in partnership with IE Productions, a local production company, recently launched the “It’s Only a Roundabout” YouTube video geared at educating the public on how to navigate two-lane roundabouts.
The video, timed appropriately with the grand opening of the new Costco Wholesale just north of the Lincoln and Hitt Road roundabout, features local talent and was a project lead by the City of Idaho Falls Public Works Department to provide instruction, as well as the history and benefits of roundabouts.
There are currently four roundabouts inside City of Idaho Falls limits; three of them are one-lane roundabouts located on S. Boulevard, Memorial Drive and S. Utah Avenue.
When Costco Wholesale selected the site just north of the Lincoln and Hitt Road roundabout, the City of Idaho Falls annexed the property, which included the two-lane roundabout at that location.
“Knowing that some motorists are not familiar with navigating roundabouts and may feel frustrated, anxious or even fearful, we felt it was very important to educate them and help calm some of those fears,” states Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon. “We also felt it was important to add elements of humor, history and to make the video relatable. IE Productions and our local talent did an amazing job taking our vision and turning it into a creative, humorous and informative video.”
The first roundabout appeared in Great Britain in 1907 – hence the British accent in the video – and was originally intended as a traffic island for pedestrians. The circular invention appeared in the United States in the early 20th century, but fell out of favor in the 1950’s. In 1966, both America and England adopted a new mandatory “give-way” safety rule, creating a pathway for the modern roundabout.
Roundabouts have been shown to be much safer than traditional intersections because they give drivers more time to judge and react to other cars, reduce the severity of crashes and reduce fatalities by up to 90 percent. They also offer 75 percent few conflict points than traditional intersections and cost much less to operate.
- Pay attention to the advanced signage and plan ahead for your intended destination.
- Slow down. Always remain in complete control of your vehicle.
- Always yield to anyone on the left. It does not matter which lane the vehicle is in, always yield to anyone on the left. Yield means to give the right of way to anyone approaching on your left, even if you need to come to a complete stop.
- Approach the roundabout in the right lane if you need to make a right turn. Complete the right turn at your first opportunity.
- To go straight through, approach the roundabout from the right or left lane and then stay in that lane until you reach the other side.
- To make a U-turn or take what would be a left turn at a traditional intersection, stay in the leftmost lane, and follow the lane around until you reach your exit. Then follow the curved line out of the roundabout.
- There should be no reason to stop, unless it is for bicyclists, pedestrians and unyielding drivers.
- If you hear sirens from public safety vehicles before entering a roundabout, slow down and pull over to the right side of the road to let them by. If you are already inside the roundabout, continue through the roundabout and pull over to the right side of the road as soon as it is safe to do so. Do not stop in the middle of a roundabout.