Local News

Raleigh offers help in navigating new traffic circles

Posted July 23, 2010 3:11 p.m. EDT
Updated July 23, 2010 8:01 p.m. EDT

— 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.

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."

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.