About Roundabouts

At home home, in DC, there are biiiig roundabouts.  They aren’t really called roundabouts though — the term may be a midwesternism.   We just call them traffic ‘circles’.  At these 6 – 8 way mixers, it’s unquestionable which way traffic flows: counterclockwise.   You turn right to enter.

Perhaps by unconscious analogy to the large circles,   DC metro drivers treat smaller neighborhood circles with the same rules. If a circle blocks a 4-way intersection,  drivers still proceeds counterclockwise, entering to the right.

Not so in Chicago.

Possibly due to lack of transference from any larger roundabouts, Chicago drivers can’t seem to decide what the rules are for the smaller circles.   It’s really startling, biking (and driving!) to see a driver enter  a mini-circle and head left, threatening head-on collision with drivers entering from directly opposite.

What’s the rule here?  Are these Chicago mini-circles  just glorified 4-way stop signs?  Or are they to be treated like real circles, with counterclockwise traffic?




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