Is This a Roundabout?
This is a Traffic Circle, not a Modern Roundabout. Here is an example of a traffic circle at the intersection of Golf Rd. and Wolf Rd. in Des Plaines, Illinois.
- This Traffic Circle requires drivers to stop before entering the circle. A modern roundabout only requires drivers to yield, therefore, traffic is constantly moving.
- Unlike a modern roundabout, this traffic circle does not have uniform entrances and exits, thus limiting traffic flow.
- Too many legs. Modern roundabouts are not designed to have more than four legs to an intersection.
This example is a full-stop roundabout in Hawthorn Woods. The distinct feature that makes it different than a modern roundabout is that on each leg there are stop signs. You can see the white stop bar on each entrance into the circle. This is similar to a modern roundabout, but does not provide the traffic flow efficiency of a modern roundabout. This is basically a four-way stop intersection with a landscape median. Communities usually implement this style of intersection as a method of traffic calming.
All of the following characteristics make this a modern roundabout:
- Traffic yields to other cars in the roundabout.
- Splitter islands on each leg of the intersection to aid traffic flow.
- A truck apron to accommodate larger vehicles.
- Pedestrian crossings set back away from traffic in the roundabout.