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Raleigh offers help in navigating new traffic circles

Posted July 23, 2010

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— The Capital City is trying to get the word out to drivers on how to use a new traffic circle on Hillsborough Street.

The city of Raleigh recently spent $800 to print 2,000 pamphlets with detailed instructions on how to navigate a new roundabout at Hillsborough Street and Pullen Road, near North Carolina State University.

Roundabout Roundabout driving tips

The brochure spells out every possible approach to every possible destination for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.

"We wanted to educate the public, because they're probably not used to dual-lane roundabouts," said Tim Sudano, a project engineer for the Raleigh Public Works Department.

Road crews opened the roundabout a few months ago as a single-lane roadway. On July 16, crews opened a second lane, adding confusion for some drivers.

"I haven't heard many good things about it," said Hannah Hip, who manages Locopops on the corner of Hillsborough and Pullen. "Right now, people are just not understanding it. They're just wanting to get through Hillsborough Street, as opposed to taking their time and understanding it."

Raleigh's new roundabout comes with instructions Raleigh's new roundabout comes with instructions

Traffic engineers say roundabouts are safer, more efficient and less expensive to operate and maintain than regular intersections.

The Hillsborough Street junction has signs and pavement markings directing traffic, and planners recommend that drivers chose a lane before entering the circle and then stay in it.

The Pullen Road roundabout is one of several planned to help modernize Hillsborough Street and help slow traffic by changing it from a four-lane congested street to a two-lane avenue with on-street parking, that moves traffic more safely and efficiently.

18 Comments

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  • fireboss100 Jul 23, 2010

    As one who works in this area, I have seen VERY few people who even slow down going through this roundabout. Seems like they are all talking the the cell phone or doing something stupid like not PAYING ATTENTION!!!!
    So, drivers in the Hillsborough St area, the wreck will be your fault and the ensuing legal actions may just allow me to retire

  • noreplytome2 Jul 23, 2010

    WHAT? Keep to the right... how hard is that?

  • turkeydance Jul 23, 2010

    Psuedo...i'm in.
    really. this will be fun.
    we'll need video. you know:
    YouTube and all that. what
    day/time works for you?

  • streetfightinman Jul 23, 2010

    On hillsboro street ,When some one at this menacing roundabout has a wreck Traffic will likely stop, stop lights are much better and safer what a boonedogle this is!

  • twc Jul 23, 2010

    No one will believe this but merging would not be a big deal if DOT would just put up some signs saying "Alternate Merge". I know it sounds silly but it will work.

    One thing is does is "gives permission" to allow a fellow driver to cut in front of you. Without the sign, a lot of drivers "defend their ego" and won't let someone merge.

    That's just how people are. Test it DOT. Put up an Alternate Merge sign at a problem location and see for yourself. That shouldn't cost much.

  • Nope Jul 23, 2010

    This is VERY necessary. North Carolinians are not known for their merging abilities. Lives will be saved.

  • twc Jul 23, 2010

    This is par for the course for traffic engineers in Raleigh.

    I correctly described the screw up with Fayetteville St. mall years ago. It took forever before they undid that.

    Hopefully, the screw up here will be remedied sooner.

    The good news here is that the accidents will be property damage only for the most part. The bad news is they will be frequent and the bottlenecks from those accidents, even though minor, will be big.

  • Leonardo Jul 23, 2010

    If you can't figure out how to navigate a traffic circle, then it's time you turned in your drivers license because you're probably a hazard to begin with.

  • nomorethanthat Jul 23, 2010

    Yes it is easy to figure out when everyone else knows what to do but here in the states its a different situation. Road tests in England and Germany make the ones given here a joke. How many drivers on our streets know where the right side of their vehicle is and over compensate when passing a parked vehicle.

  • Pseudonym Jul 23, 2010

    When classes start back at NCSU, I'm going to set up a lawnchair and a cooler at the bell tower and watch the hilarity ensue as average drivers attempt to navigate around that particular marvel of engineering. Come join me if you've got a grill. I'll bring the steaks!

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