Roundabouts are tricky for some

Aug. 4, 2008

By Lynda Jensen

With one of two new roundabouts on Highway 7 being completed, engineers are discovering that local drivers can become disoriented easily with roundabouts.

The finished roundabout (sometimes called a traffic circle), which opened last month, is located at Carver County Road 10 and Highway 7. A second roundabout is under construction at Highways 25 and 7 just west of Watertown.

The intersection of Highway 25 and Highway 7 in Carver County remains closed, and work continues on construction of a roundabout at this intersection.

MnDOT officials at the Hutchinson region office would like to provide the following roundabout driving tips for motorists.

Vehicles approaching and entering the roundabout:

• Do not stop in a roundabout except to avoid a collision.

• Slow down when entering a roundabout and be prepared to yield.

• Look to the left and check for traffic in the roundabout. Traffic already in the roundabout has the right of way.

• Enter the roundabout when there is enough space between vehicles in the roundabout.

Vehicles exiting the roundabout:

• Proceed counter-clockwise to your exit. You now have the right of way.

• As you approach the exit, use your right turn signal before exiting.

Trucks and other large vehicles:

• Roundabouts are designed to accommodate large trucks, buses, and emergency vehicles.

• Large trucks may, when necessary, drive on the raised pavement area (called the truck apron) in the center of the roundabout. Usually only the rear wheels track on the apron.

• Cars should not use the raised concrete apron.

Emergency Vehicles:

• Do not enter the roundabout when emergency vehicles are in the vicinity – pull to the side.

• Allow vehicles in the roundabout to clear in front of the emergency vehicle.

• If in the roundabout, exit the roundabout and pull to the side.

For additional information, contact Kelly Brunkhorst, project engineer in Hutchinson at (320) 234-8462.

Questions or concerns about the project?

MnDOT representative Kelly Brunkhorst will present updates about the Highway 7 project and answer questions during weekly meetings every Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Hollywood Ranch House at the intersection of Highway 7 and Carver County Road 33 north of New Germany.

Updates will also be published each week in the Herald Journal and at www.herald-journal.com.

Do you know more about this subject, or have a comment? E-mail: news@heraldjournal.com