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Is there a roundabout standard needed?

  • 06-12-2012 12:47pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 37,295 ✭✭✭✭


    From a motors thread, thought here would be a nice frum to make a new thread...
    I can think of numerous examples of where

    Left lane for left turn only, meaning right lane for straight on or turn left.
    Or
    Left lane for left and straight on, and right lane for right turn only.
    or
    Both left and right for straight on, and left for left and right for right.

    Or road markings on a roundabout are either non existant or confusing.
    This. A lot. Example on the N3 (http://goo.gl/maps/Fm4F4), where the N3 goes from two lane into one lane after a roundabout, and no previous road markings to say which lane goes where. Found this out whilst trying to merge. To make it extra confusing, the previous roundabout (http://goo.gl/maps/32Iga) form the M3 to the N3 is from a two lane road, through a roundabout, into another two lane road.

    =-=

    Roundabouts in Ireland are a law unto themselves. There is no standard roundabout, with my example above of two roundabouts on the same stretch of road, which you will only find are different when it's too late.

    Before we try to teach people how to use roundabouts, should they be redesigned so that people navigate around them the same, with road markings on the "entrance" roads to show which lane goes where?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,336 ✭✭✭tonc76


    the_syco wrote: »
    From a motors thread, thought here would be a nice frum to make a new thread...

    This. A lot. Example on the N3 (http://goo.gl/maps/Fm4F4), where the N3 goes from two lane into one lane after a roundabout, and no previous road markings to say which lane goes where. Found this out whilst trying to merge. To make it extra confusing, the previous roundabout (http://goo.gl/maps/32Iga) form the M3 to the N3 is from a two lane road, through a roundabout, into another two lane road.

    =-=

    Roundabouts in Ireland are a law unto themselves. There is no standard roundabout, with my example above of two roundabouts on the same stretch of road, which you will only find are different when it's too late.

    Before we try to teach people how to use roundabouts, should they be redesigned so that people navigate around them the same, with road markings on the "entrance" roads to show which lane goes where?

    Lane designation signs and road markings should cover this however the majority of motorists fail to notice/read either.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,383 ✭✭✭✭Alun


    tonc76 wrote: »
    Lane designation signs and road markings should cover this however the majority of motorists fail to notice/read either.
    Most times though, except for the bigger roundabouts, there's only road markings, and these are often either faded to nothing or obscured by other vehicles.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,735 ✭✭✭Irish and Proud


    I think that turbo roundabouts should be looked at - in certain areas (light to medium traffic), such might allow cyclists to safely use the roundabouts as the vehicle paths going through would be fixed and the chances of side swipe dramatically reduced - however, cyclists would have to be compelled by law to cycle at a reasonable cycling speed going through turbos and not attempt to let any motor vehicles past as this would be dangerous (in short, the cyclist would have to take the centre of the lane). Turbos can also be configured to make things much clearer to pedestrians - unpredictable traffic movements can be a major problem on traditional priority roundabouts. I think turbos can be designed to be fair to all road users as well as being much safer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,786 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762


    The disgrace that is the Walkinstown roundabout fits here well.

    http://goo.gl/maps/g9GrI

    What are you supposed to do at it? There are no 'which lane to get into' markers. Three circulating carriageways means noone has a bulls what lane to get into and when to cross over. Also it has SIX exits. Its a free for all.

    As far as I'm aware, the Rules of the Road says absolutely nothing about how to approach an unmarked three lane roundabout with six exits.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,571 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Can anyone explain the thought process behind the new Killiney Towers roundabout? Its nigh on impossible to *see* the cyclists you're meant to yield to if in a vehicle with no rear passenger windows, for starters. Unless they wanted to have all traffic go around it at walking pace...


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,735 ✭✭✭Irish and Proud


    MYOB wrote: »
    Can anyone explain the thought process behind the new Killiney Towers roundabout? Its nigh on impossible to *see* the cyclists you're meant to yield to if in a vehicle with no rear passenger windows, for starters. Unless they wanted to have all traffic go around it at walking pace...

    The new design at Killiney Towers is a standard used in the National Cycle Manual - see >>here<<. This design IMO exacerbates the side swipe problem by actually enforcing (and reinforcing) the cause of the problem - exiting traffic crossing the paths of vehicles (in this case, bicycles) coming from the blindside (and coming from behind).

    I have a new design concept for Killiney Towers among others which I call a diverge-turbo roundabout - this is where the lanes split at each exit instead of 2 lanes going around as is the case with traditional roundabouts - this would lengthen the exit slips thereby forcing motorists and cyclists to commit to a particular exit earlier which would make things far clearer to pedestrians as well as fixing vehicle paths so that cyclists are much less likely to be side swiped - yes, the cyclists would share the road and this situation would require robust laws compelling cyclists to negotiate the junction at reasonable cycling speed and not attempt to let a motor vehicle pass as this would be dangerous - motorists who bully cyclists acting within reason should be off the road - simple as. I must note that after each exit, the circulatory carriageway would taper out to 2 lanes again - effectively left declaration lanes.

    The Killiney Towers Roundabout itself is in the real sense structured like a traditional roundabout exept for the tight entry and exits, the allocation of one lane for cyclists and one lane for motor traffic and the requirement for motorists to yield to cyclists on the roundabout - if cyclists are to get priority, then the priority should be given on approach where the cyclist takes possession of the desired traffic lane subject to the above conditions. Slow cyclists should use the paths instead - these would be designated shared pedestrian/cyclist for this purpose.

    I must try and post my design at some stage...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,735 ✭✭✭Irish and Proud


    An article >>here<< regarding the Killiney Towers Roundabout - scroll down to see a video of a Dutch Roundabout in action - Killiney Towers is pseudo-Dutch in my mind...

    ...and here's the design I said I hope to post:

    Diverge Turbo.jpg


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,733 ✭✭✭✭corktina


    i noticed one of those Dutch guys turned right and went the wrong way., is that allowed?


  • Registered Users Posts: 596 ✭✭✭bigar


    corktina wrote: »
    i noticed one of those Dutch guys turned right and went the wrong way., is that allowed?
    In a lot of places the bicycle lanes allow traffic in both directions on all sides. Mainly meant to reduce the number of crossings you need to take on your journey.

    I definitely would like to see more roundabouts like this in Ireland plus al the other road infrastructure they offer cyclist in The Netherlands an other countries.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,548 ✭✭✭SeanW


    MYOB wrote: »
    Can anyone explain the thought process behind the new Killiney Towers roundabout? Its nigh on impossible to *see* the cyclists you're meant to yield to if in a vehicle with no rear passenger windows, for starters. Unless they wanted to have all traffic go around it at walking pace...
    I don't think there was a though process beyond "lets make things harder for motorists for no real reason."

    It wouldn't surprise me if Iwannahurl and his ilk were running DLR Co. Co.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,056 ✭✭✭✭BostonB


    I thought Killiney Towers is using a design that now obsolete in Europe.
    Bike Lane in a Roundabout
    As previously mentioned, the least safe bike treatment (statistically) for a single lane roundabout is placing bike lanes in a roundabout, and the CROW manual recommends never placing a bike lane within a roundabout. As of July 2011, however, bike lanes in roundabouts still exist as legacies where they have a good safety record. At the location shown below in Zwolle, this bike lane in a roundabout has a good safety record, traffic volumes are well above the 6,000 vehicle/day limit for mixing bikes with cars, and the bike lane is heavily used.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 14,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭monument


    BostonB wrote: »
    I thought Killiney Towers is using a design that now obsolete in Europe.

    Nope. The design is used commonly in the Netherlands.

    There may, however, be an issue with the size of the roundabout. The Dutch designs and the Irish cycle manual example both use 90 degree entry/exit points for motorists, to slow motorists, while the Killiney Towers design has more curved exits and entry points.

    Actually, just looking at some of the Dutch designs again while all don't have 90 degree entry points, they all seem to have 90 degree exits. All oft them are smaller roundabouts, but at least some of that is a given as they are four armed roundabout and the KT is five armed.



    Still, it would have been interesting to see how this design, as Irish and Proud pointed to, would have fared in Dublin:


    corktina wrote: »
    i noticed one of those Dutch guys turned right and went the wrong way., is that allowed?

    Not on that roundabout.

    The Dutch allow it sometimes but only where it is marked as a two-way cycle path -- marked on the ground and signs warning motorists. Usually in more urban areas.

    Here's an example... it looks like it's only on one leg of the roundabout for the reason of keeping a two-way cycle path linked directly (ie cyclists only have to go around their part of the roundabout if they are branching off the main two-way route) :



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,056 ✭✭✭✭BostonB


    monument wrote: »
    Nope. The design is used commonly in the Netherlands...

    Are those new build roundabouts?


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 14,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭monument


    BostonB wrote: »
    Are those new build roundabouts?

    Some are older than others, it is however a design used and still being used in new builds. From the first video:
    Uploaded on Jul 18, 2011
    This roundabout in the city of 's-Hertogenbosch (aka Den Bosch) in the south of the Netherlands replaced a standard junction with traffic lights. The junction also had separated cycle paths but this new situation decreased waiting times for all traffic.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,571 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    As an aside, den Bosch seemed to be the most car oriented city I've been in on Holland... Though ive only seen it in the evenings. Seemed to have fewer cycle paths also


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 14,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭monument


    MYOB wrote: »
    As an aside, den Bosch seemed to be the most car oriented city I've been in on Holland... Though ive only seen it in the evenings. Seemed to have fewer cycle paths also

    Ok, but
    s-Hertogenbosch (a.k.a. Den Bosch) won the honour title 'Fietsstad 2011' or 'Cycling City 2011' in the election organised by the Dutch Cyclists' Union. The expert jury was unanimous in its decision. Last August, the city had been selected as one of five nominees, which were in turn selected from a long list of 19 cities that had entered the competition.

    Rush hour:



    And more on cycling in that city: http://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/tag/s-hertogenbosch-den-bosch/


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,056 ✭✭✭✭BostonB


    Seems contrary to other articles. That said I wouldn't hold up what local councils are doing here as a good example of anything.
    Roundabouts and cycle lanes/tracks


    Cycle lanes on a roundabout in Newbury, Berkshire, England
    See also cycle facilities at roundabouts.
    In the United Kingdom and Germany there is some concern to the use of cycle lanes in large urban roundabouts, though it is still common to see such facilities in the Netherlands and elsewhere. In 2002, cycle lanes were removed from a roundabout in the English town of Weymouth after 20 months because the casualty rate had increased significantly, according to the local cycling campaign.[74] German research has indicated that cyclists are safer negotiating roundabouts in traffic rather than on separate cycle lanes or cycle paths.[75] A recent paper on German roundabout design practice states "Cycle lanes at the peripheral margin of the circle are not allowed since they are very dangerous to cyclists".[76]
    In the Netherlands, researchers focused on separating bicycle tracks from motorised traffic. They found that "roundabouts with separate bicycle tracks have a much lower number of casualties per roundabout than roundabouts with bicycle lanes, van Minnen (1995)".[77] This meant that Dutch planners focused more on designing roundabouts and cycle tracks with appropriate priority rather than mix cyclists with other traffic or put them on cycle lanes at the edge.
    For adults, the standard advice in the vehicular cycling philosophy for handling roundabouts is to try to maintain a prominent position while circulating.[78] The use of cycle lanes runs counter to this vehicular cycling approach and places cyclists outside the main "zone of observation" of entering motorists, who represent the major source risk.[79]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segregated_cycle_facilities#Roundabouts_and_cycle_lanes.2Ftracks


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,056 ✭✭✭✭BostonB


    monument wrote: »


    Good blog. One to bookmark for later reading!


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,571 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    monument wrote: »

    Shows what a city centre at night can give as an impression. Utrecht, Amsterdam and various smaller areas had much more obvious cycling measures to me


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,611 ✭✭✭cgarrad


    Drove thru this roundabout about 2 years ago, all plain sailing since ;-)

    1307923931.jpg

    Got a bit nervous when I saw the road sign that warns of it mind...

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT1kRUsrok3RcIqfMWcrYTyuD9aWyD6JmXLA2Z9MiE3qZOxODic0h3fcjQI


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,884 ✭✭✭101sean


    The most famous one of those is the Magic Roundabout in Swindon, it officially called that now. An Oul Fella here in a Micra would be lost forever on something like that!

    The standard of mini roundabouts here is also appalling with numerous bad designs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,398 ✭✭✭chewed


    Has anyone tried using the Swords/Malahide Rd. roundabout?

    http://goo.gl/maps/DO1Mg

    This is one where all the rules of the road can be discarded! If you're coming from Airport road going to Malahide you have to stay on the outer lane and then weave back (over 2 lanes) into the inner lane on the roundabout to turn onto the Malahide rd!


  • Registered Users Posts: 38,247 ✭✭✭✭Guy:Incognito


    The disgrace that is the Walkinstown roundabout fits here well.

    http://goo.gl/maps/g9GrI

    What are you supposed to do at it? There are no 'which lane to get into' markers. Three circulating carriageways means noone has a bulls what lane to get into and when to cross over. Also it has SIX exits. Its a free for all.

    As far as I'm aware, the Rules of the Road says absolutely nothing about how to approach an unmarked three lane roundabout with six exits.

    I find the Walkinstown roundabout can work just fine. All roads entering it (except Ballymount) are split in to 3 lanes . If everyone goes to lane 1 for the 1st 2 exits, lane 2 for the next 2 and lane 3 for the last 2 it would be grand. A major problem I find, as with a lot or roundabouts here is that people drift across lanes. Someone will come in to the left lane and are going straight. So they literally go straight. As in the path that takes them to their exit in a straight line regardless of the fact that roundabout lanes are curved so this path brings them from their own lane, across the next lane and back in to their lane again. "sure **** everyone else, I'm grand"


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,056 ✭✭✭✭BostonB


    ...If everyone goes to lane 1 for the 1st 2 exits, lane 2 for the next 2 and lane 3 for the last 2 it would be grand....

    You can't have a different rule for every roundabout.


  • Registered Users Posts: 986 ✭✭✭psicic


    Walkinstown roundabout seems so dangerous to me. I agree people bear a certain responsibility when there's clear signage - but no such signage exists to aid people in so many places in Ireland. In the case of Walkinstown the standard single black ring with six exits and no lane markings other than faded white 'Yield' triangles on the road just doesn't cut it. The problem is made worse by the RSA changing the way they teach how to navigate roundabouts in the test 'sometimes' (first two lanes versus 'the clock face'). And that's not even taking into account the legions of very poor Micra drivers out there. I've used the roundabout maybe twenty times in the past year - and I've borne witness to at least 5 close calls.... one of them my own....

    Any time I rant about that roundabout though, I always remind myself that it has been there donkey's years and they haven't changed it and I haven't heard of a huge amounts of deaths, so it must work the way they want.

    I feel safer ranting about Killiney Tower's new design - an absolute joke - looks like it was designed to damage cars, encourage poor road behaviour and kill cyclists. If you look at the 'kerbs' they put down, they are getting more and more battered - I think the costs of this particular design - both in repairs and bills for damages (hopefully only to cars, not people) will mount rather quickly.

    And in the same general area, they FINALLY modernise the old roundabout at Mounttown/Glenageary(the 'fixed' version is still shown here), fixing most, if not quite all the problems with the older style roundabout, and then they rip it out and replace it with what I am told is now called 'Honeypark Junction' - a set of traffic lights at a five way staggered intersection, with confusing indications as to what's 'straight ahead' and what's right turn. Even the half-hearted attempt at 'snail trail' lane markings (i.e. dashed lane markings through the junction) seem inconsistent and really seem invisible to the majority of road users. THAT is a huge accident waiting to happen. (From what I recall, this whole junction thing happened because of certain local council people 'promising' it as an improvement to get votes from the elderly in exchange for safe, pedestrianised crossings.... though I'm sure there's some nice sounding 'traffic management' spin to justify this improvement)

    I don't think we should have roundabouts different for the sake of it - but:
    1. In my opinion, road signage and lane markings seems to be the thing to improve, especially in the case of 'unique' roundabout junctions which, let's face it, are a reality of life. Follow the example of most modern countries with a sign well in advance telling you which lane to be in and a diagram of the roundabout that roughly corresponds to the roundabout you're entering on to... not just a crude single circle bearing no resemblance to the real position of the exits
    2. In my opinion, the cure-all is not to just rip out the roundabouts and put in inappropriate and still badly signposted junctions... even if that's the 'hip' thing to do
    3. Let the RSA put on TV ads that correspond to what they are teaching - I don't care whether "left lane for first two lanes" or the 'clock-face' method is best... I just think it's lethal mixing the two systems
    4. I'm not a cyclist, but understand the concept that they should be accommodated on roundabouts. Let's innovate, sure... but why the heck can't we take cues from other countries rather than coming up with bastardised versions of what can only be described as rather good Dutch designs? Do they trademark their road designs or something? And are we in danger of becoming the China of roundabouts - mass producing cheap-but-dangerous knockoffs of superior designs? :P


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,193 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    SeanW wrote: »
    It wouldn't surprise me if Iwannahurl and his ilk were running DLR Co. Co.
    Keep it constructive please.

    Moderator


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,388 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    I'm still waiting for clarity on how to indicate on three exit roundabouts.

    RoTR say don't indicate when entering if taking the second exit.

    Lots of people indicate if it's more than 180 degrees - but this varies wildly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,515 ✭✭✭Outkast_IRE


    I suppose one of the largest problems i see in cork anyway, is the approach to many roundabouts is poorly signed .... this is a big issue when the roundabouts dont obey the standard rules and there is road markings on approach that nobody can read due to traffic .
    There should be more high level signage on approach to many roundabout indicating which lane for which exit.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 ✭✭✭Iwannahurl


    I'm still waiting for clarity on how to indicate on three exit roundabouts.

    RoTR say don't indicate when entering if taking the second exit.

    Lots of people indicate if it's more than 180 degrees - but this varies wildly.




    Do the current RSA guidelines not cover it?

    http://www.rsa.ie/Documents/Road%20Safety/Leaflets/Leaf_booklets/Roundabouts_DL_2012_v3.pdf


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,547 ✭✭✭Dante


    chewed wrote: »
    Has anyone tried using the Swords/Malahide Rd. roundabout?

    http://goo.gl/maps/DO1Mg

    This is one where all the rules of the road can be discarded! If you're coming from Airport road going to Malahide you have to stay on the outer lane and then weave back (over 2 lanes) into the inner lane on the roundabout to turn onto the Malahide rd!

    I've come to the conclusion that everyone drives so badly on that roundabout that it just works. A case of two, or rather a bunch of negatives making a positive.


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