Roundabout FAQs

yellow roundabout sign

How to Navigate a Roundabout

Roundabouts -- a type of circular intersection where road traffic flows in one direction around a central island – are much safer and more efficient than conventional intersections. They promote a continuous flow of traffic and decrease congestion on approaching roads. Modern roundabouts are also designed to be safer for cyclists and pedestrians than conventional intersections because road traffic tends to move at a slower speed (15 to 20 miles per hour) than at intersections with traffic lights or stop signs.

The roundabout at the southern end of Healdsburg is now complete. As a reminder on how to safely navigate a roundabout, here are essential tips:

Vehicle Drivers
These rules also apply to motorcycle riders and to bicyclists who choose to ride around the roundabout.

  • Slow down as you approach the roundabout. Always watch for pedestrians in the crosswalks.
  • Yield to traffic in the roundabout. When entering the intersection, always yield to vehicles and cyclists already within the circle. Traffic on the left always has the right of way. Note that drivers may not signal correctly, or at all.
  • Circulate counter-clockwise around the circle. Never turn left into the roundabout.
  • Use your turn signal when you exit. While still in the roundabout, use your turn signal to indicate your exit. This notifies drivers waiting to enter the roundabout when they can safely proceed.

Cyclists and Pedestrians

  • Bicyclists have the same rights as vehicles in a roundabout and must abide by the same rules of the road. Cyclists can either ride through a roundabout with traffic or walk their bicycles through the pedestrian crosswalks.
  • Pedestrians should use the designated crosswalks to navigate around the circle. Before entering the crosswalks, they should look for approaching vehicle traffic.
  • Pedestrians and cyclists must never go to the center island in a roundabout. This is extremely dangerous.

For more information about roundabouts, including research, safety and educational materials, go to: https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/intersection/innovative/roundabouts/