Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960

 

By Pam Stevens
Managing Editor 

A refresher course in roundabout etiquette

 

July 13, 2010



Remember when Lake Stevens got their first roundabout? Folks would sneak up to the entrance and slowly glide into the lane feeling uncomfortable because they didn’t stop as they always had before.

And then there were those who chose to speed up as they approached the roundabout and take the corners as fast as possible hoping to avoid stopping or even yielding to others who may be waiting to enter.

And still others, mostly teenagers looking for a good time, would drive around and around until someone would stop them by entering the roundabout or they would get dizzy, whichever came first.

Well, now we have a new roundabout which has also been built to slow down traffic on Lundeen Parkway and create a safer way to cross Lundeen when coming from either Vernon Road to the south or Lake Drive to the north.

It seems that folks are hesitant, once again, as they drive through this new and unfamiliar passage, so it’s time for some roundabout etiquette.

There are a few key things to remember when coming to a roundabout, first of all, it’s not a race to see who can get around it the fastest and it’s not scary, unfamiliar territory any longer – most of you just went through one a few seconds earlier.

Here’s what the Washington State Department of Transportation tells us to do:

• Yield to drivers in the roundabout

• Stay in your lane; do not change lanes

• Do not stop in the roundabout

• Avoid driving next to oversize vehicles

Sounds simple enough, right? So why is it so many have trouble when approaching a roundabout?

In Lake Stevens we only have what are considered single lane roundabouts. When you approach most roundabouts there will be a speed limit sign which suggests the speed you should drive while making your way through the roundabout. Follow the signs, slow down and watch for pedestrians.

Really, driving a roundabout shouldn’t be like the first day of rain after weeks of sunshine, although at times that’s exactly what it seems to be.

If you need more information or would like to watch a video showing you exactly how to drive through a roundabout visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/safety/roundabouts.

 

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