Thursday, March 29, 2012

Roundabouts and "Wonderbag"

If you're from Britain and you drive, roundabouts are something you encounter on a regular basis.  In Canada they are becoming more popular, not sure about other countries in the world?


Anyhow why I am talking about roundabouts, we attended a meeting on Monday evening about the intersection up the road from us and we got talking to the officials that are sorting all the issues out regarding the intersection.  We talked about many things, but we got to talking about roundabouts.


Pleased the say that a roundabout is not being considered for our particular intersection.  The officials we were talking too were from the Kitchener/Waterloo and London, Ontario areas.  I don't claim to know too much about the London area, but I am familiar with the Kitchener/Waterloo area and knew there were a number of roundabouts in that area.  Turns out the Region of Waterloo are big on roundabouts and where possible they will install a roundabout instead of lights at an intersection. If you check this link it will show you have to navigate a roundabout.  The officials are pushing roundabouts as a safer alternative for intersections.


Anyhow back to why I brought all of this up.  In Caledon they have installed a roundabout in a bit of a strange place, basically in the middle of no where.  It does however solve a problem and it is safer to navigate that intersection than it was.  However there is one slight problem, a lot of people have no idea what so ever how to navigate a roundabout.  As I was approaching it the other day there was a poor woman in a van driving round the roundabout, she even stopped at one stage to try and figure out what to do next....LOL  Luckily for her, it was after the "rush hour" period, so no one else was using the roundabout.


I spoke with a friend later that day who has a daughter who has just passed her driving test, and asked her if there was instruction in the drivers handbook on using roundabouts and she said no.  Now this is in Ontario, not sure what it is like in other provinces in Canada.


The one thing though we do not have to worry about in Canada is mini roundabouts:
Do to the amount of snow we receive here in Canada they are not a feasible idea.


Mind you when writing this post the word "magic roundabout" kept popping up and let me tell you that sort of roundabout scares me.  Here is a link to one, confusing.........very...........


Do you like roundabouts?  Do you know what to do when you approach a roundabout? What's your experiences with them?


This seems to be the latest thing to save energy and time, the Wonderbag.  It looks interesting not sure when it will be available over here?

21 comments:

Scarlet said...

Lots of people in Britain don't know how to use a roundabout. J has almost been knocked off his cycle several times at roundabouts, I've had people come straight through them, not giving way when they should, and narrowly miss me in the car. People get into the wrong lanes too, and then cut you up.

JohnD said...

We have them in Australia - we have three coming through the main street with an additional set of traffic lights - and generally I like them as they are a 'traffic flow smoothing device', avoiding a lot of 'stop start intersection driving. Basic rule of "Give Way to the right' (we drive in the left hand lane) DOES NOT APPLY at roundabouts. Rule is VEHICLE "IN" THE ROUNDABOUT HAS RIGHT OF WAY and other vehicles are to 'slip' into the roundabout behind the vehicle already in the roundabout. Similarly, a vehicle leaving the roundabout must not be impeded from doing so.

In all other intersections we have the "Give way to the right' rule and (mostly) those are controlled by either obligatory "STOP" signage, or, "Give Way" signage. "STOP" sign means you must come to a complete vehicular halt and give way to ALL DIRECTIONS until it is safe to proceed.

In the cities they have multiple lane roundabouts and some with up to six or seven entry points! {Eeeek!}

Lindsay said...

We live about 15 miles from Swindon and have muddled our way through "The Magic Roundabout" a few times. I just go slow and watch the other cars thread their way through the five interconnected roundabouts and then take a deep breath and plunge into the chaos!!

North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard said...

I hate the darn things; it was the first year we had sold our home on the Woolwich/Waterloo Twp line, that they put a roundabout up on University ... and over at St. Jacobs coming in from Elmira. Glad I don't have to deal with then, only once in awhile when back visiting ...

Fran said...

How would that lady have coped with the double mini roundabouts that we have round here!!! And don't forget that up north in the UK they call them islands not roundabouts, just to confuse the issue further xxx

Buttons said...

I love roundabouts there is an intersection where I have watched many people get killed because it was just to busy with a terrible blind spot. I myself had almost been hit while trying to get out in this busy intersection. Everyone around here was all upset about the prospect of getting it put in. People hate change it has been in for six years and it is the best thing the MTO has ever done. There have been no more terrible accidents and now we do not have to worry about our kids driving and getting through this intersection. Sometimes change is good you just have to give it a chance. I love roundabouts they slow people down. B

Rose said...

Gill, I have mixed feelings about round-abouts...but I can see fewer wrecks with them.

How did you come across the wonderbag? Never heard of them...kind of neat idea...but sure looks like they would take up a lot of space to store. But it might be worth it...I would think it would be so convenient to put a pot of 'whatever' in it...walk away and you would not have to worry about stirring, or it sticking.

Jane and Chris said...

When I was last in the UK I just closed my eyes when someone drove round a round about...I didn't have a clue.
There is a roundabout in Orillia, by the Home Depot plaza...it is one lane wide and I went round it just because...several times. It serves no purpose that I can see!
Jane x

simplicityinthemaking said...

I like roundabouts and thought perhaps when they were working just outside the city near us they were putting one in but I was wrong, instead they have a real stupid turn lane system and for this they took down a whole forest! In Kitchener area I think a lot of them are outside the city area as well. The ones I know about. The ones in Kingston are in the heart of the city.About the wonder bag. My mom use to put beans and such to "bed", actually in bed to soak. Under layers of blankets. It works until bed time!! I have done so too but also have my slow cooker. Great idea though.

Northern Living Allowance said...

I do like roundabouts, actually. So much nicer than lighted intersections. We've got several here now, two in the past year, and it makes it much easier, although I did see someone the other week going around it the wrong way to get out (sort of like making a left turn, like you would at a regular intersection). Fortunately there was no one coming around it.

On another note, we did used to have a 4-way stop at one of our intersections and everyone would stop. Look. Go. Now that it has lights, you've got people (guilty) running the yellows, making it worse in my opinion.

Crazy Acres Rose said...

thanks for posting about this particular roundabout in Caledon.. I dislike them, so I know to avoid that area when I am down visiting :D

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

The roundabouts are getting more popular here as a way to slow down traffic. The neighboring town just got one and they can be a bit confusing, but I just 'yield' to whoever is in the circle, and make a run to cut in front of someone! :-)

Andi's English Attic said...

As a driver who tries to avoid driving where 'the big kids drive' - ie motorways etc. I'm nervous of big roundabouts. Mini ones I can cope with, but the big ones hmmmmm.

Meri said...

As a person who goes around in circles most days anyways, I find the round about things very confusing.

The wonderbag has got me wondering. My small kitchen says forget it.

Evelyn said...

they are okay if the other drivers don't cut you off. no they don't teach it in drivers ed here in New Brunswicka dn yes they definetly should

saving for travel said...

What a brilliant topic for conversation.

Sft x

50 and counting said...

Edmonton has round abouts and most people don't have a clue. Nothing beats getting behind a farm vehicle plate (usually a Ram 2500 complete with duallies) and trying to avoid getting taken out by the driver trying to figure out how to exit.

Indicator use is nonexistant.

megan blogs said...

I have driven them, although the one i drove most often, near to where i went to University was known as a traffic circle. It worked very well, although they decided about 10 years back or so to make it into a four-way stop.

I've driven roundabouts in other places, and i don't like them. The ones nearest me now are two or three lanes wide, and you have to know which "spoke" you need to exit or get caught going around again. Most people drive that one very, very fast, and if one needs to move to the other lane to exit (or that one finds one's self in the exit lane and needs to move over), it's taking one's life in one's hands.

megan

Lib said...

Hi Gill,
Im back after a Loooong hard yr.
Round abouts are becoming popular here .
Have a great wk.
L
Blessins',
Lib
LibsPrivateParadise

Boyett-Brinkley said...

We have roundabouts here in Fort Worth and they have just put in three mini-roundabouts on the main street going to our church. The big ones, I don't mind but those little ones seem almost too big to be sitting in the middle of the intersections!

Cash Only Living said...

We have a few roundabouts in our area but I don't like them. They are two or three lanes wide on top of it which makes them even more confusing. Add to that the fact that most people don't know how to use them and it's a scary proposition all the way around!