When you encounter a circle or roundabout on a road, the best advice is the British adage to “keep calm and carry on.”
On Oct 20, the Denver Dept. of Transportation & Infrastructure (DOTI) made a change to the traffic calming project located at the intersection of Ash Street & 7th Avenue. DOTI has provided the following information about the change to our traffic calming circle/roundabout from Scott Kilgore, P.E., Staff Engineer.
Oct 21, 2022 –
DOTI has some planned upgrades for the traffic circle at 7th and Ash to bring it in line with our latest design practice for neighborhood traffic circles. A lot has been learned from the initial deployment of neighborhood traffic circles so this one is getting improved with many new elements. The improvements planned for 7th and Ash are scheduled for install later this year and include:
- Modified striping and signing to clarify movement through the traffic circle.
- Replacing stop sign control on Ash St with yield signs for all legs of the intersection.
- Additional reflective signage in the center of the traffic circle to improve visibility at night.
- Filling the center of the traffic circle with asphalt to keep the curbs in place and prevent leaves and debris from getting caught.
To provide a bit more detail on the design:
- Parking will be pulled back ~1 parking space per direction on each leg of the intersection for better visibility.
- Center striping to better direct traffic entering the circle will help clarify movement and define space on the approach. This helps drivers to circulate properly and deter parking close to the intersection.
- Advance warning signs like the existing one eastbound on 7th will be added to the other legs of the intersection for greater clarity on how to navigate the circle.
- Changing to yield signs on all legs has been shown to reduce confusion by making the traffic circle operate similar to a roundabout, where users entering the intersection need to yield to those already circulating. This further slows speeds on all approaches by prioritizing those in the intersection rather than a specific direction. When the traffic control change is made, the yield signs will initially be marked by orange flags to make sure the new condition is prominent.
Further information about the project’s background here.
- A user (bicycle, auto or pedestrian) on the circle/roundabout always has priority over those joining it.
- When approaching the circle observe the yield sign now posted on all entrances (aka legs) to the circle. Again, you must yield to any user already in the circle and stop completely if necessary.
- Cars or bicycles to the right of you have priority. Slow down, look around and make sure it is safe for everyone.
- Properly signal your intent to turn into and exit the roundabout.
- These traffic calming devices are increasingly being used in the US and the reason is simple: they reduce the number of conflict points at intersections – such as left hand turns, speed and head on collisions. The most often problem is a failure to yield the right of way. Because all traffic flows counterclockwise through a roundabout in the US and more slowly than at a traditional intersection, any collision is more likely to be minor.
- Be safe out there, friends, and be kind to others sharing the road.