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Archive for March, 2008

Champlin RoundaboutThe first roundabout was constructed in Paris around the Arc de Triomphe in 1901, closely followed by Columbus Circle in New York City in 1904 (Wiki). The City of Champlin constructed the first roundabouts in 2006, and residents are still struggling with how to properly use them.

Deputy City Administrator John Cox says the first roundabouts were built at 117th Avenue and at Emery Village Drive along Business Park Boulevard, in conjunction with the development of Centex’s Emery Village townhouse community. The city has four roundabouts; two more were built along 109th Avenue, near Jerry Ruppelius Park.  

Have Champlin residents learned how to use roundabouts? According to a survey, only 15 percent driving through the 117th Avenue roundabout properly exited—by using the right-turn signal to indicate the exit. Laurence Johnson, resident, thinks roundabouts are the best alternative to four-way stops, and he says he uses his right-turn signal if there is someone else on the roundabout. “It‘s respectful to other drivers.”

Carey Johnson, Champlin resident, thinks roundabouts are much more effective, and yet she says they are dangerous too. “I don’t think people really understand how to use them.” And in response, the City of Champlin has posted a list of frequently asked questions that include directions for using a roundabout:

  1. When approaching the roundabout, slow down to 15 mph and yield to pedestrians.
  2. Look to the left, as traffic in the roundabout has the right-of-way.
  3. Enter when it is safe and there is an adequate gap in the circulating traffic flow. (vehicles in the circulatory road have the right-of-way)
  4. Keep your speed low within the roundabout.
  5. As you approach your exit, turn on your right-turn signal.
  6. Exit carefully to your destination, yielding to pedestrians.
  7. If you miss your exit, go around again.
  8. Passenger vehicles and small trucks are not to ride on the inner truck (concrete) ring. The truck ring allows the back of trailer/trucks or buses to ride.
    (Source: Roundabouts in Champlin)

Currently, there are no plans for additional roundabouts,” said Cox. “We will consider their application as we consider rebuilding 109th Avenue (west or Hwy 169) and Douglas Drive (north of 109th) in the next 2 to 3 years.

Sources of Roundabout Information

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