Round and round they go

Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.

Contractors monitor a temporary roundabout at the intersection of Princes, Rattray, Stafford, Jetty and Manse Sts in Dunedin yesterday morning.

The roundabout, installed overnight, was a ''unique'' solution to managing traffic at the intersection of the five roads while the upgrade of the traffic lights was completed, Dunedin City Council projects engineer Evan Matheson said.

The roundabout was dismantled by 10.30am. The work on the lights, which included some minor phasing changes, was completed yesterday, he said.

Roundabouts

Roundabouts are a great way to discourage pedestrians and less-confident people on bicycles. Walking past a roundabout either means detouring far enough down any side streets to be able to cross a safe distance from the roundabout, or taking your life in your hands to cross near the roundabout. Even using a marked crossing that is close to the roundabout is dangerous (unless you're clairvoyant), because drivers don't have time to react after leaving the roundabout. They're a disease - pimples on the roading network.

Flow from multiple directions

Roundabouts are good when there is a balanced flow from all entry points: for you to move through, the entry lane 2 around to the right needs vehicles flowing through.  That pauses those to your immediate right and allows you entry into the circle.

If it's primarily a left - right flow then the top - bottom (for want of better nomenclature) lanes can wait for ages.  In that case demand-driven lights are a better solution.

A 5-lane feed like this one should have enough multi-direction inflow to keep everyone moving with minimal waiting.

Yes and no

Yes, it would be a great idea, but make it bigger and make it easier to enter. One lane entry only. 

A lot of people hesitate at roundabouts - not watching the two entry points to the right, only going on what's moving in front of them, then checking to the right, realising they can go, then stopping because something's coming... the Andy Bay roundabout is a classic for that.  

No, because it could turn into more of a problem. Lights are usually put into place because nothing else works.

A good example would be the roundabout at Frankton BP. It's shocking at most peak times and causes a lot of traffic congestion, where lights may solve the problem. Nelson also had a lot of roundabouts, until they realised that lights were a better option.

I say they need to trial something like this for longer than one morning.  A week would be more like it. Then ask for feedback. Council cannot just jump into it and do it thinking it's a good thing.

Not a fan of the roundabout

Not a fan of the roundabout really. Five way roundabouts are not pleasant to navigate, and definitely not small ones. I sat all my driving tests at 5 Cross Roads in Hamilton and it is one intersection that I always go out of my way to avoid. The position of that roundabout on Princes St was not great either - there are times of the day when the sun makes it impossible to see what's coming from the right and the fact that it is not on flat ground makes it even more difficult. If they had any sort of raised roundabout constructed, it would block the view of the cars coming down Stafford and Manse Streets to the cars driving up Jetty St and vice versa. This is the way I drive to and from work everyday. I would almost certainly change my route if a roundabout was installed.

So easy

Like other commentators I too found this way better. Traffic flowed really well, except when the odd driver and a couple of cyclists got a little confused with what happens at a roundabout, so nothing new there.

I wonder how pedestrians got on?

So easy to go round.

It was amazing - no waiting for four sets of light-changes, everything flowed beautifully. More roundabouts should be considered throughout Dunedin. 

Roundabout worked well

I agree, bring it back.  From my experience with driving through that intersection daily, the temporary roundabout worked much better.  Would be interested to know what the crew working there that day thought of the traffic flow.

Bring back the roundabout

Please, bring back the roundabout – it was *way* better than the lights. The traffic flowed freely and the rush hour queues were much shorter than when the lights were running (at least when I saw them they were).

Thank goodness for experts

See how it can't possibly handle the volume of traffic flow? Thank goodness for experts.

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