Hillsborough traffic circle lane reduction to be completed Saturday

Posted July 25, 2012

— Two lanes of traffic inside the roundabout at Hillsborough Street and Pullen Road will become one by Saturday morning, the City of Raleigh announced Wednesday. 

Weather permitting, road crews will begin work at 8:30 p.m. Friday and be finished about 6 a.m. on Saturday. 

After numerous attempts to educate drivers on how to handle the two-lane traffic patterns, city leaders in June decided to scrap the idea and transition the roundabout to a one-lane model. 

State Department of Transportation and Raleigh officials hope the change will lower the number of accidents and ease frustration for drivers as they navigate the roundabout.

Completed in 2010, the roundabout was part of a street improvement project on Hillsborough Street from Oberlin Road to Gardner Street along the campus of North Carolina State University. 

The city spent $800 in 2010 to print 2,000 pamphlets with detailed instructions on how to navigate the roundabout.


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  • Bendal1 Jul 26, 2012

    I've designed several roundabouts; two of them have been built or are being built (one in Waynesville and one in Chapel Hill). The one on Hillsborough Street is badly designed for several reasons, and the changes they are making aren't fixing all of them.

    Reducing Hillsborough Street to one lane approaching it is a start, but the right lane should be striped out, not the left one. Vehicles staying on Hillsborough will have an almost straight shot through the roundabout, meaning higher speeds. The truck apron in the center should be enlarged and the approach angles for all the roads should be increased. It is a very poorly designed roundabout that these changes won't fully address. I suspect the crashes and complaints will continue even after the work is completed. The one on Oberlin Road is much better designed (except for all those driveway entrances).

  • itsnews2me Jul 25, 2012

    Maybe it would work better if they put a fountain in the middle of it...just sayin'....

  • ifcdirector Jul 25, 2012

    Liberal thinking at its best. Who says that liberals don't get results? One hundred crashes? That's a remarkable achievement.

  • beaupeep Jul 25, 2012

    The diameter of the circle is too small for it to work as designed.

  • Relic Jul 25, 2012

    They've had roundabouts in the UK for years and despite the fact that they drive their cars on the wrong side of the road they seem to do just fine with them.

  • supernik87 Jul 25, 2012

    This is a roundabout, not a traffic circle! There is a very important distinction, roundabouts allow free traffic flow and are proven to be much safer, and as/more efficient as/than traditional intersections. Traffic circles (common in DC) have stop signs or lights and are less safe.

    It's a shame Raleigh messed this one up so bad. Roundabouts do a lot to improve traffic flow and safety if designed right and should be used at most intersections, even major ones. The roundabout itself was not the problem here. I think if better signs were added telling exactly which lane to be in for which street it would help a lot until people got used to it. Also, we need to make roundabouts a big topic in driver's ed and on driving tests because roundabouts are becoming quite common in NC lately. Have a look at the I-485/85 projects in Charlotte. Roundabouts on exits!

  • BubbaDuke Jul 25, 2012

    This traffic circle is stupid. I've never been through it that someone didn't try to cut me off. The street is too narrow and the businesses are too close to the curb to allow for widening the street. I avoid Hillsborough Street and take Western Blvd.

  • valleyind2 Jul 25, 2012

    Driven through it hundreds of times. No problems. I guess practice makes perfect. If it's the first time you have been required to use one outside of a parking lot situation, I can understand the trouble. If people would use their turn signals when they are exiting the circle, it would cut down on a lot of accidents. It would be nice if they would open it up and put one of those dancing traffic cops with a whistle in there. That would be sweet.

  • FlySwater Jul 25, 2012

    but can they pass the single lane roundabout test? Most drivers don't understand how a four-way stop sign intersection works.

  • ss3510 Jul 25, 2012

    If people went through the circle knowing where they were going and concentrating on driving (instead of talking, reading, using the cell phone, texting, thinking about thier small life) would be EASY to navigate.