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Roundabout Refresher

As the use of roundabouts as a traffic management tool becomes more prevalent, the Village would like to share some important rules for driving a roundabout. The information below is courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). It is intended to help travelers navigate the different encounters they may have in a roundabout safely and courteously.

In all cases, attentiveness, patience, and respect for others on the road will make any driving situation safer and less stressful for all involved. The Village would like to thank drivers for their safe driving habits and for showing others common courtesy while on the road.

As you approach a roundabout, you may encounter pedestrians, bicyclists, large vehicles, or drivers that may be unfamiliar with how to drive a roundabout. The following information can help you navigate these encounters safely and courteously.

• Slow down.
• Watch for and obey traffic signs and pavement markings.
• Move into the correct lane for the direction you want to travel as you approach the roundabout.
• Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists as you enter and exit the roundabout.
• Enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap in traffic.
• Yield to all lanes of traffic on your left before entering.
• Keep your speed low and stay in your lane within the roundabout (do not change lanes in the roundabout).
• Exit carefully to your destination. Use your right-turn signal, in front of the splitter island just prior to your exit, to indicate your intention to exit.
• Watch for large vehicles.
• Motorists are required to give space to larger vehicles when approaching and driving through roundabouts.
• Drivers at roundabouts must yield right-of-way to trucks and other large vehicles (and combinations of vehicles, such as trucks towing boats or RVs towing cars) measuring at least 40 feet long or 10 feet wide (most larger vehicles have an expanded turning radius).
• Drivers are asked to remain mindful that all motorists approaching a roundabout must yield to any traffic already within a roundabout, as signed and per law.
• If two large vehicles approach a roundabout at the same time, the vehicle on the right must yield right-of-way to the vehicle on the left.
• Do not enter a roundabout when an emergency vehicle is approaching from another direction. If you are already in the roundabout, do not stop in the roundabout; exit the roundabout, move to the right, and stop so the emergency vehicle can safely pass.

Raised islands and painted crosswalks at roundabouts are intended to provide safety for pedestrians. Short crossing distances and slow moving traffic increase pedestrian safety. The following information can help pedestrians navigate a roundabout.

• Cross only at designated crosswalks.
• Never cross to the center of a roundabout.
• At the crosswalk, extend your arm and point to show the motorists that you intend to cross.
• Wait at the crosswalk for a safe gap in traffic.
• Cross to the raised median between lanes of traffic only when traffic yields or stops and there is a safe gap in traffic. Keep your arm up, pointing as you cross.
• Wait on the raised median for a gap in the other direction of traffic. Remember to point to show traffic you intend to cross.

Bicyclists using a roundabout can either exit at the bicycle ramps and use the sidewalk, or continue with traffic on the road. The following information can help bicyclists navigate a roundabout.

Continuing with Traffic on the Road
Experienced bicyclists travel through the roundabout using the same general rules that apply to motorists.

• On your approach, choose the proper lane for your route using traffic signs and pavement markings.
• Always yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
• Yield to traffic in the roundabout; only enter when there is a safe gap in traffic.
• Stay in your lane and maintain a good pace.
• Don’t hug the curb - this way, drivers will see you.

Using the Sidewalk
• On your approach, dismount your bicycle at the ramp leading to the sidewalk and walk your bicycle.
• Use the sidewalks and crosswalks, following the same rules that apply to pedestrians (shown above).

More information related to roundabout safety and how roundabouts work is available at the following link wisconsindot.gov/pages/safety/safety-eng/roundabouts/works.aspx<.a>.


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