Deer Park feels like it’s growing up, with the inclusion of the new apartments in the old fairgrounds, more homes being built in and around town, and future road work slated to happen within the next couple of years, including the roundabouts on 395.
With the addition of all of these traffic circles, some have asked the question: “How do we properly navigate a roundabout?”
The roundabouts in and around Deer Park are all currently single-lane roundabouts, making navigation a bit less complex. Roundabouts are preceded on streets and highways with a yellow “roundabout ahead” sign, with the advisory speed limit posted for that particular roundabout. It is important that drivers slow to that speed approaching the roundabout, and that drivers watch for pedestrians in the crosswalk. As the driver approaches the entry for the roundabout, he or she needs to look to the left in order to view and yield to any traffic already in the roundabout. If there is a gap in the traffic, the driver should enter the circle and exit at the desired location. If there is no traffic in the circle, drivers may simply enter the roundabout without yielding. When in the circle, continue to look for pedestrians. Also, it is key that drivers use the turn signal just before exiting the circle so other drivers know it is safe to enter the circle and assume their position in the traffic flow.
According to the the Washington State Patrol (WSP), a few key things to remember are:
- Yield to drivers already in the roundabout
- Do not stop inside the roundabout
- Consider the goal is to make intersections safer and more efficient
To watch a video on roundabouts published by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), follow this link: https://youtu.be/MywmtskFiiI