A new roundabout was opened at 271st Street and Louise Avenue on the southern tip of Sioux Falls. As expected, people are complaining about it.

They are not difficult to navigate. This new one is easier than average. There is only one lane in the circle and one lane approaching it.

There are basically 3 rules for this thing.

  1. Yield to anyone in the circle when you are not yet in it.
  2. Do not stop when in the circle.
  3. Exit the circle in the direction you want to go.

"But, what if someone pulls out in front of me when I'm in the circle?" Stop or hit them. Your choice.

While I like them generally and believe the data, that they help the flow of traffic, I also think the average driver in and around Sioux Falls is either too discourteous or incompetent to navigate them. The function of a roundabout depends on the cooperation of those driving through it. Since generally drivers in Sioux Falls are unwilling to make room for a car to merge in front of them, I can see people getting really frustrated.

That breed of driver that is overly courteous is also a problem. Anyone who stops in traffic to allow a car to enter from a parking lot to enter should have their license suspended for 30 days. Pulling that stunt inside the roundabout will likely cause an accident.

By the way, the Mythbusters once did a whole show about them. They discovered that roundabouts allowed 20% more cars to pass through an intersection.

As I write this it occurs to me that a fender bender in this roundabout will probably result in the complete shutdown of the intersection. I changed my mind, blow the thing up! 4-way stops rule!

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