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Motorists Prepare To 'Go Around' With New Traffic Pattern In Raleigh

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The roundabout, or mini-traffic circle, is an oddity to most people in the Triangle, but they are about to get a lot more familiar.

Officials placed a roundabout on Pullen Road at N.C. State as a test case. Seven others are planned along

Hillsborough Steet

on and near the N.C. State campus.

"I think 5 o'clock traffic is bad enough trying to get down Hillsborough Street without putting up some crazy circles for people to drive around," driver Chanelle Corpening said.

"Stop lights are easy to deal with. When it's red, you stop; when it's green, you go," driver Christian Karkow said. "Here you have to do some thinking. However, if everyone starts to do it, it actually works rather smooth."

A citizen's group backs the plan as well as city traffic engineers. They say the small, one-lane roundabouts will calm traffic and make the corridor pedestrian-friendly. Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said roundabouts are better than stoplights.

"You enter it slowly," he said. "You always go to your right. Never turn left, and you go around until it's time for you to exit. Cars typically go 15 to 18 miles per hour and don't have to stop, so traffic keeps moving."

Planning money for the roundabouts is in this year's budget, but officials say construction money will be a priority next year.


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