10 April 2011

Round and Round We Go

Keepyrighty
I like roundabouts. I ride through a couple each day, in particular the one above on my way to my son's school. The cycle track continues all the way around and you can turn off wherever you like. Cars give way, of course, and entering the roundabout involves the same basic rules of right of way as car traffic.

Roskilde - Right Turn for Bicycles at Roundabout
I particularly like this roundabout in Roskilde, 30 km west of Copenhagen. It has double cycle tracks so that if you're merely turning right you don't have to interfere with bicycle users who are continuing around the circle. Or worry about cars bothering you.

Roskilde Two Lane Roundabout 02Roskilde Two Lane Roundabout
Here it is in better weather.

Infrastructure trivia: a roundabout is called a Keepylefty in Swahili.

Nighttime Roundabout
Here's a smaller roundabout I pass quite often. I like this one. The cycle track is raised up to the level of the cycle track you arrived on- This creates a speed bump for the cars who are entering or leaving the roundabout but lets the bicycle users continue bump-free.

Copencouple Bicycles
Like most aspects of Danish bicycle planning, roundabout design is a part of our national design and concept guidebook.


13 comments:

shuichi said...

I have not seen/ can't remember such a roundaround in Kyoto Japan. By the way, we call it ロータリー, where cars or buses wait for passengers in front of a station... Thank you.

Alisdair said...

Roundabouts are considered to be one of the safest forms of intersection. According to many, Australia has the most roundabouts in a single country. I'm not sure how true that is, but all new housing estates use roundabouts.

Eneko Astigarraga said...

This painted solutions look to be quite slippery, don't they?

Anonymous said...

no as much as your petty arguments Eneko

ATX Bikette said...

After twice having a car overtake me at the last second (even though I was clearly in the middle of the lane)at a traditional four stop intersection a roundabout with a clear demarcation for cyclists seems like heaven.

Kevin Love said...

"National design and concept guidebook"?

Is this, like the Dutch CROW standards, available in English?

northwest is best said...

Wow, I usually avoid roundabouts here in England...

Ulrike said...

I hate roundabouts here in Germany. Normally they do not have a special lane for bikes and car drivers do not give way but enter in tight distance.
It feels dangerous and probably is.

Andrew Chadwick said...

Interesting. Marked perimeter cycle lanes are falling out of favour in the UK. Do Danish roundabouts give priority to traffic circulating, like British ones?

Richard said...

Dutch advice is now to separate the circulating carriageways for bikes and cars by a minimum of 5m, after a number of problems with lorries/motorbikes hitting cyclists on cycle lanes on roundabouts.

However the frequency of issues is probably small, so lanes on roundabouts help make things more comfortable if tracks aren't practical.

lpfischer said...

Do you really like the small roundabout at Howitzvej? I find it to be a bother; it's too small, too often traffic will cut directly across it. Also, I see no good reason to have it in the first place.

Eneko: no - neither more nor less slippery than regular road surface.

Andrew: yes, priority to circulating traffic.

I personally much prefer regular intersections, preferably with lights; I think roundabouts have too many chances for bikes and cars crossing at odd angles. Even though I *do* have priority when circulating, I do not trust that car drives will respect that (or see me), so I constantly worry that I will be hit from behind by a car leaving the roundabout.

lpfischer said...

BTW - the roundabout in your first picture is right in front of my daughter's school. I pass it every morning on my way to work. That one is a fine and safe roundabout.

Anonymous said...

When the UK Highway Code was modified several years ago to give cyclists the right to ride around the outside to any exit, the CTC remarked that "It is difficult to think of anything more dangerous you can do on a bicycle". These markings go out of their way encourage that. Roundabouts need to be eliminated as far as possible, and when not, infrastructure provided to enable cyclists to avoid them.