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Roundabout Etiquette

In an effort to help mitigate some of the gridlock that occurs in our roundabout at arrival and dismissal, I have asked the Crossing Guard supervisors to provide information that may assist drivers, and ultimately, all of our families that utilize the roundabout and crosswalks.  This information is in blue print below.

One important note – students who are crossing either Sienna or O’Neill from the northeast corner of the roundabout (diagonal to the school) should ALWAYS be accompanied by a parent as the crossing guards are not working the two crosswalks that do not feed into the school.  They are only assigned the crosswalks that feed directly into our school, and when they have to run from crosswalk to crosswalk, more gridlock is created.  Students should not be dropped off to cross alone south on O’Neill (toward the skate park) or East on Sienna (toward Stoneybrooke).

Central to successful traffic movement through a roundabout is for motorists to understand the difference between YIELD and MERGE.  When approaching a YIELD sign, motorists are required to slow or stop and allow all other traffic to proceed in front of them.  When executing a MERGE, a motorist is expected to safely establish their position in a lane of traffic while all vehicles continue to move.  At a roundabout, it’s critical that the motorists approaching the roundabout in the legs of the traffic circle YIELD to vehicles already in the circle.  The reason the roundabout handling Oso Grande’s traffic so often comes to gridlock is that drivers (in an effort to be polite) are allowing vehicles to MERGE into the circle when the circle is already at, or near, maximum capacity.  The only outcome possible in this situation is gridlock!  Please understand that once you enter the roundabout you DO NOT STOP!  You must keep moving (at a slow/steady/safe speed) and then exit at the appropriate leg.  When vehicles EXIT the roundabout a gap in traffic is created which allows another vehicle to enter the roundabout.  Motorists in the roundabout must not make the decision to allow vehicles in the legs to MERGE in front of them.  This results in the circle exceeding capacity and gridlock ensues.  The process will take care of itself if all drivers understand and conform to the mandate to YIELD.

The obvious exception to not stopping in the roundabout occurs when there are pedestrians in the crosswalk.  The Crossing Guards are making every effort to be in the roadway as seldom as possible and to coordinate the crossings at different legs to occur at the same time.  Another small detail that helps with the capacity of the circle is for motorists to pull up close to the crosswalks when they are stopping for pedestrians.  This allows the best opportunity for drivers who are passing through the roundabout to exit out of the circle which, of course, provides for other vehicles to enter once the crosswalks are cleared.  It is important to remember that once the crosswalks are clear, the legs of the roundabout must still YIELD to the vehicles already in the circle.

Roundabout Etiquette
Thank you in advance for following these basic guidelines so that traffic can flow much smoother in our roundabout!