Posted by CDSI Research Courtesy, a resident of another community, on May 1, 2008 at 6:02 pm
Posted previously to the Town Square Forum:
Reference materials requested by Alamo downtown groups:
Dangers to Pedestrians and Cyclists
Traffic circles used to slow cars, rather than facilitating flow by assigning right of way, are confusing. And more experience on the part of drivers as cities try to build more circles will not correct the problem. The small diameter circles are intrinsically unsafe, because they don't allow drivers enough time to assess actions of other vehicles. The circles are used on streets of drastically different volumes, so only the drivers on cross streets feel they've entered a right-of-way situation. Drivers on the main, through street are given the impression of driving around an impediment in the roadway. These problems are made worse by lack of visibility of oncoming traffic from side streets in the tight situations where the devices are built. So, no one is sure quite what to expect from other vehicles. The result is unpredictable behavior. And controlling neighborhood speed with devices designed to produce confusion is only asking for trouble.
Cyclists are especially vulnerable when automobile drivers are forced into unpredictable traffic situations. Many also complain of the dangers they face jockeying for space at traffic circles, as automobiles are forced into the bike lane approaching the island. Making things worse, bike lanes disappear altogether at the traffic circles themselves, just where confusion is greatest.
Pedestrians, too, report that drivers are so confused at traffic circles by unusual right-of-way issues that they pay less attention to walkers trying to cross the street.
REF: Colorado Traffic Circle Study, University of Colorado
CDSI Research Fellowship
Posted by Jane Murphy, Ph.D., a resident of another community, on Mar 28, 2008 at 11:11 am