By now pretty much the entire county knows that Sam’s Club is coming to Raymore, situated on Dean Avenue just south of Lowe’s. In order to accommodate the expected increase in traffic from the south part of the county, the City of Raymore is building a roundabout at the intersection of Dean Ave. and Lucy Webb Rd (Watch a clip made by the City of Raymore about the construction of the new roundabout here).
The hue and cry over this roundabout rivals only the citizens of Tokyo preparing for an attack from Godzilla. Many folks in our area aren’t familiar with the road rules for navigating a roundabout, thus are intimidated and think they are dangerous. The one-lane roundabout, which is what is being built on Lucy Webb Rd, is known as one of the safest and most efficient intersections for cars, bicyclists and pedestrians.
The first time I saw a roundabout, I agree, it was confusing. I didn’t know for sure what to do. Luckily I was in South Dakota in the middle of nowhere. There was no traffic in sight, so I was able to slow down, scratch my head and proceed to loop around it two or three times at a high rate of speed, yelling, “Wheeeee!” out the window. My only witness was a Black Angus bull glaring at me with disapproval. I’m pretty sure if you try that at the Dean/Lucy Webb roundabout the RPD is going to pounce on you pretty quickly, but there are some guidelines on navigating a roundabout safely.
Remember that old Texas law that said, “When two trains meet each other at a railroad crossing, each shall come to a full stop, and neither shall proceed until the other has gone?” Yeah, roundabouts are kind of like that in that no one has the right of way when approaching a roundabout. All traffic yields to traffic on their left that is already in the circle.
Step-by-Step in a Roundabout:
- Slow down as you approach.
- Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists.
- If either one is present, stop to let them pass before entering the roundabout.
- Once you arrive to the yield line of the round-about look to your left to watch for approaching cars.
- Yield for oncoming cars already in the roundabout.
- Wait for a gap in traffic to enter the roundabout.
- If there is no traffic in the roundabout you may immediately proceed without stopping.
- Proceed slowly around the round-about and continue until you see your exit.
- Turn on your turn signal before turning and slow down to make the turn
- Yield for any pedestrians and bicyclists when making your exit.
- NEVER STOP IN A ROUNDABOUT.
We have a stack of brochures at the circulation desk at the Northern Resource Center that explain roundabouts in greater detail with pictures and diagrams. Feel free to stop in and pick one up for yourself or family members. And if you should happen upon some crazy lady looping around the roundabout in circles yelling “Weeeee!” out the window, I don’t know nuthin’ about it!
– Teri Milbourn, Northern Resource Center manager
Update: The City of Raymore produced this video to reassure drivers who are concerned about whether or not their vehicle will fit through the roundabout.