Visitors adjusting to roundabout at St. Catharine College
The new roundabout near Old US-150 and the entrance to St. Catharine College has confused some drivers, leading to several fender benders and traffic jams. The Kentucky Department of Transportation is trying to educate drivers on the proper way to use roundabouts.
With the opening of the newest section of Washington County’s Springfield Bypass (US 150), some changes in traffic flow in front of St. Catharine College are prompting the Department of Highways District Office in Elizabethtown to provide public awareness with regard to traffic use of a roundabout. This design was chosen to connect both new and old sections of US 150 and St. Catharine College.
As the name implies, traffic enters a roundabout in an unsignalized, one-way, circular intersection engineered to maximize safety and minimize traffic delay. The main principle to navigating a roundabout is yielding to traffic inside the circle.
Slow down as you approach the yield line.
Look for a gap in traffic: vehicles already in the roundabout do NOT stop. This is similar to a "Right turn on Red."
Proceed slowly, counterclockwise around the central island of the roundabout. (Maximum speed ~ 20 mph)
Do NOT stop in the roundabout.
USE YOUR Turn Signal to indicate exit. Do
pass a bicycle in the roundabout.
Continue through the roundabout if you see an emergency vehicle approaching from behind. Exit the roundabout and then pull over to the right side of the road.
While roundabouts are not used in the majority of highway intersections, they have been successfully implemented in a few recent Kentucky Transportation Cabinet projects. Locally, a project in Hardin County opened with the use of a roundabout to connect the county’s Thompson Road, KY 220 and KY 1600 near Rineyville.
In addition to motorist safety and traffic flow advantages, modern roundabouts reduce the need for storage lanes and eliminate electronic signals at intersections which will save on electricity and maintenance costs. These designs also provide traffic calming and aesthetic treatments can be more easily incorporated.
You can download a PDF copy of Modern Roundabouts 101 by the Kentucky Department of Transportation by clicking here.