The City of Sacramento's Department of Public Works is making traveling by car, bicycle, and/or by foot safer and quicker by installing roundabouts where feasible as an alternative to a traffic signal.
A roundabout is a circular intersection at which all traffic moves counterclockwise -- always to the right of a central island. All entering traffic must yield only to traffic from the left, already in the roundabout, and to all pedestrians when entering and leaving the roundabout.
- Safety – Studies indicate that collisions occur less frequently than at signalized intersections. Roundabouts reduce potential conflict points between vehicles and pedestrians. Slower speeds are required to navigate the roundabout.
- Reduced Delay – Typically, drivers do not need to actually stop at a roundabout. They merely adjust their speed to take advantage of approaching gaps in traffic, which is more efficient than a multi-phased traffic signal.
- Environment – Roundabouts generally operate with fewer delays, resulting in less air pollution and lower fuel consumption.
- Costs –
- Capacity – A roundabout can accommodate more vehicles than some signalized intersections.
- Improved Neighborhood Appearance – The roundabout's central island and splitter islands are landscaped to add greenery to the streetscape. Roundabouts can also add some variation to streets.
Tips on Driving a Roundabout
- Yield to traffic from the left and travel right.
- Signal right when exiting the roundabout.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks when entering and exiting, and STOP for pedestrians who are in the crosswalk – it is the law!
- Keep moving once in the roundabout.
Remember: A missed exit can be reached by going around again!
Pedestrians crossing a road where it meets a roundabout need only cross one direction of traffic at a time before coming to an island. Pedestrians can pause, look the other direction and proceed. These islands are located on each leg of the roundabout, making it particularly pedestrian friendly.
Typically, the roundabout speed limit is 20 miles per hour, therefore, accidents that do occur are low speed, low impact collisions. This benefits the bicyclists as well as the vehicle.
For additional information about roundabouts, please view the following resources: