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View Poll Results: Which do you prefer?
4-Way stops 28 20.90%
Roundabouts 104 77.61%
Neither 10 7.46%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 134. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 12th, 2007, 01:28 AM   #21
Verso
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^ Probably.

Last edited by Verso; June 12th, 2007 at 02:53 AM.
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Old June 12th, 2007, 06:49 AM   #22
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Be prepared for a VERY long post

It's funny how most people compare roundabouts to traffic lights, whereas the original topic of the thread refers to all-way stop signs.

I am not an expert, but my opinion is somewhat mixed. I have lived in Israel for 10 years, where roundabouts are used extensively. In fact, I lived in a small town where almost all intersections were either roundabouts or just yield signs. While I never drove there by myself (I was too young), I can say that while there are advantages, excessive use of roundabouts tends to make driving quite confusing.

In the town where I lived, and in many small towns in Israel, driving is like navigating a maze. Entering a roundabout, exiting it, then choosing whether to drive around a traffic island from the left or right (both options are legal), then onto another roundabout, and so on and so forth. Most drivers do it quite fast, but when I visited 2 years ago, I was never aware where the heck my friends were driving me because of all the direction changes In Israel this is of course due to the complicated topology of many towns.

After moving to Canada, almost all small intersections here in Toronto are 4-way stop signs. My father (who has driven a lot in Israel) likes the 4-way signs overall. On small residential streets, 4-way stop signs have the advantage that drivers from any of the 4 directions don't have to proceed very carefully, waiting for the way to be clear, because it is expected that everyone stops.

It is also not precise that everyone stops even if there is no traffic - according to the law, people should, but people almost never do (at least here in Toronto). People come slow down to a rolling stop, and then proceed if there is no traffic. And if there is traffic approaching and it is clear that one will be the first to stop because the approaching traffic is still quite far, one will also usually not come to a complete stop.

I think that there should be a concept of 4-way yield signs or something related instead In this setup, the law should say that every driver must slow down to a crawl, and only come to a complete stop if there is traffic close to the intersection. I think this would work quite nicely, and would essentially be what already is in place, but with a legal backing .

Don't get me wrong, I am not opposed to roundabouts, and as I said, I am not an expert (the statistics certainly seem to favour roundabouts), but I think that they should be used sparingly.

And my previous point also brings one more advantage of 4-way stop signs (or a similar setup) - North American cities, especially suburban sections, contain huge numbers of small residential streets with private houses, and there can be very large numbers of intersections. I think it would be more expensive to build a roundabout at each intersection, instead of just placing a stop sign on each road, and also I don't believe that it is convenient to drive through 10 roundabouts in a row.

When it comes to traffic lights (which aren't the topic of this thread anyway), the discussion is completely different. I have seen several multilane roundabouts in Europe, and I believe that most of them are just complete madness. I think that for multilane roads (and certainly main arterial roads), traffic lights are the best possibility. Traffic lights are not great by any means, but I don't believe we currently have a better alternative.

However, I also find 4-way stop signs to be confusing on multilane roads as well, because it is not always clear who has the right of way.

Lastly, what I do really like in Europe, is that when you have an intersection with a non 4-way stop (regular stop sign) or yield sign, they usually indicate to the drivers on the other road that they have the right of way (yellow quadrilateral or fat arrow). I think they are needed in North America.
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Old June 12th, 2007, 07:28 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCat
Lastly, what I do really like in Europe, is that when you have an intersection with a non 4-way stop (regular stop sign) or yield sign, they usually indicate to the drivers on the other road that they have the right of way (yellow quadrilateral or fat arrow). I think they are needed in North America.
I agree. What American traffic rules lack is a clear concept of the primary and secondary road. Yellow diamond and YIELD signs work very well in Europe, and they help the environment by eliminating the need of unnecessary stops. In America, in the same situation 2-way STOP are used. I have never seen 2-way Yield here although they could definitely be of use. At least in the middle of a desert on an intersection with the ADT of 200 But that was quite an offtopic.

I would like to point out that the thread is about comparing roundabouts with 4-way STOP intersection, not signalised intersections. It would simply make no sense to compare roundabouts with traffic lights, don't you think? British attempted, and it caused them too many problems (in order to solve those problems, they are installing traffic lights on the roundabouts now).
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Old June 12th, 2007, 08:53 AM   #24
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Switzerland had a tradition in stops and traffic lights and we were always laughing about the Brits with their roundabout system til in the 80s some Swiss tows started to introduce it as well - and it worked out!!! Nowadays there is no town without at least one roundabout and many are nicely done as small green areas or with monuments.
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Old June 12th, 2007, 02:48 PM   #25
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As I've already said, it's a great solution as long as you don't have too frequent roundabouts. As you just mentioned Switzerland, generally Swiss roundabouts are ok, but have you ever driven from Berne (Biel/Bienne) to Porentruy, Belfort, Montbéliard? The Delémont motorway bypass still isn't finished (AFAIK), so you have to use the existing 2-lane road instead, which is FULL of roundabouts! Such an important road intersects with every minor street with roundabout, that's crazy and annoying!
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Old June 13th, 2007, 09:07 AM   #26
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Verso, here in my city I drive through a residential street (40 km/h) that has 7 all-way STOPS. Seven STOPS that are located some 50-100 metres apart! Now, if I had a choice to either slow down every 100 metres and go around the circle or make full stops, guess what I would choose? Those streets are usually empty, so I have to stop for no apparent reason.

I am not a road engineer myself, but I know that the local and federal departments of transportation strongly discourage from using all-way STOPS as a calming device. In case of those 7 STOPS, municipal engineers did just that.

Mini-roundabouts (or as Americans call them traffic circles) is a good solution in this case. Their small size allows them to be built without widening the intersection, and their cost is between $3,000 and $6,000. I believe they work just like modern roundabouts (entering traffic should yield).



And look at the injury-reduction chart:



That is quite amazing! The injury-related accidents were down virtually to zero after mini-roundabouts were installed there
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Old June 13th, 2007, 01:12 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verso View Post
As I've already said, it's a great solution as long as you don't have too frequent roundabouts. As you just mentioned Switzerland, generally Swiss roundabouts are ok, but have you ever driven from Berne (Biel/Bienne) to Porentruy, Belfort, Montbéliard? The Delémont motorway bypass still isn't finished (AFAIK), so you have to use the existing 2-lane road instead, which is FULL of roundabouts! Such an important road intersects with every minor street with roundabout, that's crazy and annoying!
To be honest I don't drive so often in Switzerland (I'm a train guy ). The Transjurassienne or how the motorway is called is finnished in the meantime I think. I remember Leuenberger making an inauguration party there
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Old June 13th, 2007, 02:19 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
Verso, here in my city I drive through a residential street (40 km/h) that has 7 all-way STOPS. Seven STOPS that are located some 50-100 metres apart! Now, if I had a choice to either slow down every 100 metres and go around the circle or make full stops, guess what I would choose?
It's not the same. There are countless roundabouts in/around Delémont on the main road Berne - Biel (Bienne) - Belfort/Montbéliard. That's not the same; imagine some main road intersecting with every minor street in roundabout. If there weren't roundabouts, but intersections, the main road would of course have priority, it wouldn't be all-way STOP.

Last edited by Verso; June 13th, 2007 at 02:24 PM.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 08:02 PM   #29
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4-Way stops or Roundabouts?

Which do you prefer?

4-Way stops


Roundabouts.


I must say that growing up with roundabouts, they appear to make more sense and keep traffic flowing. However the downside is that you can wait an eternity to enter if traffic if heavy in one direction.

4-way stops are a pain in the rear, especially in Montreal where they appear at most intersections, stop-start all the time. And then when you arrive at the same time as another car, it turns into a game of chicken.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 08:09 PM   #30
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I like roundabouts, but for a pedestrian in an urban area I think a conventional intersection is better.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 08:12 PM   #31
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4-way stops are very unusual in the Netherlands, and i can't remember having them seen elsewhere in Europe.

In the Netherlands, there are tons of roundabouts. However they are a good way to distribute traffic, they are sometimes congested.

However, they are often used as a way to slow down cars to keep the speed low. This is frustrating. I don't think they belong on major roads. Those should have traffic lights with 2 lanes for thru traffic, so you can finally overtake that slow truck. Or better, grade-separated intersections.

The new urban area of Vathorst in the city of Amersfoort has 14 roundabouts in about 3 - 4 miles.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 08:16 PM   #32
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we already had this topic here:

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=484395
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Old January 4th, 2008, 08:17 PM   #33
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I've never seen a 4-way stop.
Who has the right of way in such an intersection?
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Old January 4th, 2008, 08:20 PM   #34
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all directions must stop when they reach the intersection. the person who got to the intersection first has the right of way. if you get there at the same time as someone else, the person to your right has right of way. obviously if you're both just going forward through the intersection, you wont hit each other and the right of way really doesn't matter. only matters if someone will turn in front of you or vice-versa.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 08:21 PM   #35
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by the way, I prefer four-way stop. though both are flawed.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 09:05 PM   #36
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roundabout are more beautiful but 4-way stops are more comfortable for driving
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Old January 4th, 2008, 09:13 PM   #37
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I prefer four level stacks.

------------

Ok...to be serious. Roundabaouts are more preferable. Atleast the traffic is constanly flowing...
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Old January 4th, 2008, 09:33 PM   #38
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roundabouts, of course. i have never seen 4 way stop, but i have seen crossroads without signs where drivers must follow right side rule. of course, one road allways seems to be more main, so shit can happen. i hate those crossroads.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 10:01 PM   #39
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I believe 4-way stop is the equivalent of the same-rank junction,as we call it. The car to the right has the right of way.If there are opposing cars,then the one going straight. If all 4 go the same direction(left or straight),then drivers shall decide who starts,but this case is very rare. It's very common here,as roundabouts require more space,and thus is hard to construct in built-up environment.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 10:15 PM   #40
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Same-rank junctions(equal to 4-way stops) are quite common in Estonia too, but mainly in private house districts.
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