The Hiawatha City Council approved moving forward with the Tower Terrace Roadway Expansion design work to include a roundabout at Tower Terrace Road and North Center Point Road at the regular meeting Oct. 16.
A modern roundabout is a circular intersection where drivers travel counterclockwise around a center island. There are no traffic signals or stop signs in a modern roundabout. Drivers yield at entry to traffic in the roundabout, then enter the intersection and exit at their desired street. Studies by the Federal Highway Administration have found that roundabouts can increase traffic capacity by 30 percent to 50 percent compared to traditional intersections. Roundabouts are designed to make intersections safer and more efficient for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.
There are two types of roundabouts: Singlelane roundabouts and multi-lane roundabouts. Driving Single-Lane Roundabouts As you approach a roundabout, you will see a yellow “roundabout ahead” sign with an advisory speed limit for the roundabout. Slow down as you approach the roundabout, and watch for pedestrians in the crosswalk. Continue toward the roundabout and look to your left as you near the yield sign and dashed yield line at the entrance to the roundabout. Yield to traffic already in the roundabout. Once you see a gap in traffic, enter the circle and proceed to your exit. If there is no traffic in the roundabout, you may enter without yielding. Look for pedestrians and use your turn signal before you exit, and make sure to stay in your lane as you navigate the roundabout.
Driving Multi-Lane Roundabouts In a multi-lane roundabout, you will see two signs as you approach the intersection: The yellow “roundabout ahead” sign and a black-and-white “lane choice” sign. You will need to choose a lane prior to entering the roundabout. You choose your lane in a multi-lane roundabout the same way you would in a traditional multi-lane intersection. To go straight or right, get in the right lane. To go straight or left, get in the left lane. More information on roundabouts can be found at iowadot.gov/traffic/roundabouts/roundabouts-in-iowa. Here are a few key things to remember about driving roundabouts: • Yield to drivers in the roundabout • Stay in your lane; do not change lanes • Do not stop in the roundabout • Avoid driving next to oversize vehicles Truck Traffic Benefits Roundabouts are designed with truck aprons, or slightly raised sections between the roads and the inner circle of the roundabout, which accommodate truck traffic.