By September 11, 2017

Good Riddance to the Roundabouts

I’ll be the roundabout
The words will make you out ’n’ out
— Opening lyrics to “Roundabout,” by 70s rock icon Yes

By Chris Prickett—If the above lyrics make no sense to you, no worries, not much in the 70s did. My clumsy attempt at a segue brings us to today’s topic: The removal of the roundabout nightmares at Happy Valley Road (talk about clumsy).

Construction to replace this heinous work of Satan will begin fall of 2018 and should completed sometime in 2020. Something called a diverging diamond interchange, or DDI, will take its place. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Installing a roundabout in a busy intersection is about as practical as putting a 27-digit combination lock on a toilet stall. Too much thinking, not enough time. I know you know how to navigate them, it’s just all those other idiots…

Anyway, since we’re stuck with the current setup three more years, I thought we should all review the official (and unofficial) rules for navigating a multi-lane roundabout:

  • Slow down as you approach the roundabout, and watch for pedestrians in the crosswalk. (Because anyone dumb enough to try and use a crosswalk in a roundabout either has a death wish or is looking for a disability lawsuit.)
  • 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. (Read this three times, then take a sedative.)
  • 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. (That means don’t stop unless you have to. And, of course, everyone stops anyway.)
  • Look for pedestrians and use your turn signal before you exit, and make sure to stay in your lane as you navigate the roundabout. (This will be your second shot at Mr. Death Wish.)

After getting side-swiped a few years back, I’ve opted to just take an earlier exit and use the back roads. Until 2020, I suggest you do the same.

Over the Prickett Fence is a column in In&Out Magazine.

This article first published on North Phoenix News.

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