Roundabouts – for Cars, People, and Bikes

There’s been talk of plans for a roundabout in our fair neighborhood. Namely at the juncture where Sylvan splits into two one-way streets a half-block apart, Tyler and Polk. It’s part of the plan to convert those one-way streets to two-way. The roundabout would go right near the intersection with W Canty St, one of the best neighborhood biking streets to go east-west without dodging cars on Davis St.

The typical design we see for roundabouts is something like what I saw in Buffalo, NY (they have so many roundabouts in the neighborhoods still!)

image

It’s a nice design that works well in this context – plenty of room for a cyclist and a lane of traffic. Even a crosswalk for pedestrians (and really well landscaped corners with benches and walking paths.)

But I wouldn’t want my 7-year old nephew biking to school if he encountered one of these.

If we’re thinking roundabouts, let’s take the same approach we’re advocating for any other road – separated bike lanes. It’s the only way to enable everyone from little bitty to old and grey to feel comfortable traversing their neighborhood by bike.

And especially for this intersection that’s basically a cyclist thoroughfare through the neighborhood.

Here’s the experiential view of biking a roundabout that has a separated bike lane.

Such ease and sophistication! How orderly and civilized! So safe and simple. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel here – let’s just hijack this design.

Amanda Popken, Bike Commuter

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One comment

  1. scott W. Sura · ·

    I love traffic circles!
    I think its the best use of space, gas and keeps things moving.
    Amsterdam uses seperate lanes for trams, cars, bikes and people.
    I walked many miles in Amsterdam BUT needed to pay attention to all the other traffic. I know it can happen in this country BUT it will take several years to learn and adjust to a new system.
    S-sqrd.

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