By Paul Gorski
The new roundabout at Main and Auburn in Rockford is open for business. Most of the press I’ve seen regarding the roundabout has been regarding the pros and cons of roundabouts and not so much how to navigate the new roundabout. The debate is over — let’s make sure we make the most of it. Rather than try to explain how to drive through a roundabout, I thought it best to present video tutorials to educate readers on roundabout traffic techniques.
Before I start, roundabouts and traffic circles are not the same. So, if you’re searching for more information, search for “roundabout” or “roundabouts.” I will now list sources for instructional tutorials and a “MythBusters” evaluation of roundabouts.
The City of Rockford has information regarding the Main and Auburn roundabout at http://www.rockfordil.gov/public-works/projects/north-main-st-auburn-st-roundabout.aspx. There is also a link there to an instructional video from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WDOT) at http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/safety/motorist/roaddesign/roundabouts/av/roundabout.swf. This interactive video is very useful, allowing you to change and view the different scenarios you might encounter at a modern roundabout.
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) also has a video tutorial demonstrating roundabout navigation. This video is a bit simpler and easier to “test drive” than the WDOT video and is available at http://michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MDOT_roundabout_182737_7.swf. MDOT also has a YouTube video: “How to use roundabout.” Simple, straightforward and clearly narrated, this video answers most common questions about roundabouts, and may be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONacAiKXe-8&feature=youtu.be.
If you are not quite sold on roundabouts, as I wasn’t, you should watch the MythBusters program demonstrating the benefits of roundabouts. MythBusters is a popular Discovery Channel television program featuring a team of “myth busters” confirming or “busting” common myths. The MythBusters roundabout video my be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvoFjirrgYA. Spoiler: they like roundabouts.
In summary …
Navigating roundabout tutorials:
Video answering common roundabout questions:
MythBusters program debunking roundabout myths:
I leave you with this reminder: vehicles already in the roundabout have the right of way. Drivers coming up to a roundabout yield to traffic in the roundabout. If we all play by the same rules, the roundabout should work as designed.
Paul Gorski (http://www.paulgorski.com) is a Cherry Valley Township resident who also authors the Tech-Friendly column seen in this newspaper.
From the Oct. 30-Nov. 5, 2013, issue