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Roundabouts on Holman Highway 68 and elsewhere — including how to navigate them

The video below, showing people with bikes traveling through a roundabout, may at first appear to you—as it did to me, before enlarging it—to be an example of “do as I say, not as I do.” Watch it once without enlarging, then read my remarks below the video.

The video, created by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, was shared by the Transportation Agency for Monterey County on the following TAMC web page: http://www.tamcmonterey.org/programs/roundabout-projects/videos/.

TAMC’s website also provides this page— http://www.tamcmonterey.org/programs/roundabout-projects/for-bikes-pedestrians/—which advises:
If riding a bike in a roundabout, ride “in the center of the lane to avoid being cut-off by other vehicles.”
Bicycling Monterey checked with TAMC on 8/11/17 as to whether it is planned to have “Bikes may use full lane” signs on the Holman Highway 68 roundabout (as a helpful reminder to people who drive, or bike). There was uncertainty today about the possibility of such signage; check back later for an update.

Remarks regarding the video:
  1. Its text (at :05) correctly states that people on bikes may choose to ride their bicycles through the roundabout with traffic, or walk their bicycles through the pedestrian crosswalk.
  2. A scene at :24  may appear to incorrectly demonstrate doing exactly the opposite.
  • That misperception is partly because the video shows a person walking a bicycle going about the same speed as a person riding a bicycle.
  • What my eyes, at first, mistakenly perceived was two people riding their bicycles—not dismounting and walking their bicycles—through the pedestrian crosswalks.
  • However, after blowing it up for a closer look, I could see what I’d missed in the upper-right of the screen at :20. There was only one person with a bicycle, not two people on bikes, and that person had dismounted. The person was walking, not riding, a bicycle down the grey path; then walked it through both crosswalks, pausing at the second; then continued to walk the bicycle when back on the grey path.
  • If your device allows, zoom in for a closer look. Thanks to Geoff Arnold for helpfully pointing out the need for enlargement.

(For more about crosswalks, and sidewalks, see Bicycling Monterey’s https://bit.ly/SidewalkBike.)

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The info directly below was previously published July 15, 2017, with a few updates through August 8, 2017.

Archived below it is some additional info on roundabouts that was previously published in May 2016.

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On July 15, 2017,  Australian visitor Carey Beebe, highly experienced in biking public roadways throughout the world, tweeted a helpful reminder after biking the Holman Highway 68 roundabout: exercise extreme caution on until drivers learn how to legally and safely get about on roundabouts.

Although 2017 is his first year biking that roundabout (it is new this year), since 1999 Carey has biked to Carmel Bach Festival venues annually. A world-renowned harpsichord maker, he tends to instruments of the Bach Fest. Carey told Bicycling Monterey, “The bike is much quicker, convenient, and much more fun for me than a car.” See “Bike to Bach, as Carey Beebe does” to learn more. 

On July 25, 2017,  Carly Mayberry similarly reported in the Monterey County Herald, “Transportation Agency for Monterey County provides Rules 101 for roundabout driving,” that motorists don’t always know what to do in roundabouts. For example, “unlike motorists driving on a straight road who pull to the right when they hear a siren, drivers making their way through a roundabout should continue to move through it, exit and then safely move over to allow the emergency vehicle to pass.”

Help get the word out.
Share Roundabout Driving Tips,

such as those on the Transportation Agency for Monterey County website.

Tip of the helmet to volunteer Geoff Arnold, a League of American Bicyclists LCI and a member of the Central Coast YMCA board of directors, for assisting Ariana Green  of TAMC and others in teaching YMCA of the Monterey Peninsula summer camp kids how to navigate roundabouts. The children had a fun exercise on 7/28/17, and a video was made by the City of Monterey and Transportation Agency for Monterey County.

Although the children featured are many years from being an age to drive roundabouts themselves, they had a memorable experience about traffic safety. And chances are they’ll even be able to teach their parents and others a thing or two about roundabouts. Although the video’s emphasis is on motor vehicles— and all the large figures provided by Ecology Action of Santa Cruz were motor vehicles—notice that there is a bike on one of the necklace signs, at 1:44. The video makers didn’t forget that bikes share roundabouts too!

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The information below was previously published in 2016 with some subsequent updates.

Roundabouts help reduce traffic congestion, thereby reducing carbon emissions, travel time, stress levels, road rage, traffic collisions, and other negatives.

Traffic on Lighthouse June 2010 - DSC00288

Although the Holman Highway / Highway 68 Roundabout can be expected to improve traffic conditions, during its construction traffic will be challenging, of course. Even if you don’t bike regularly, during that roundabout construction and at other peak traffic times, consider biking even partway to your destination; see bike-and-ride tips. Transportation Agency for Monterey County reports that the roundabout construction will pick up after August 21, 2016.

“If you’re driving during the peak morning hours and peak afternoon hours, it is definitely faster to use your bike, and probably walking, too,” Andrea Renny of the City of Monterey’s traffic and engineering department told KSBW in this 5/10/16 KSBW story about bike-to-work week, the Holman Highway /Highway 68  roundabout construction, and summer traffic.

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 1.04.15 PM

Information below was previously published May 9, 2016. Scroll toward the end of this post to learn more about roundabouts.

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Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) is hosting

free presentations and community forums on roundabouts:

 For any updates or changes, check with TAMC.
Learn what the difference is between a roundabout and a traffic circle. Hear what factors engineers consider when evaluating whether or not a roundabout is right for a particular intersection.
Never biked or driven through a roundabout? A video presentation will show it’s easy!
Also provided will be information about the upcoming Holman Highway 68 Roundabout construction project. Follow that link to learn more on the TAMC website, including about:
  • Goals
  • Project History and Background Resources
  • Environmental Impacts Comparison
  • Public Outreach
  • Roundabout Design
  • Roundabout Signs and Navigation
  • Funding

Questions? Contact Ariana Green at ariana@tamcmonterey.org or call 831-775-4403.

Back on July 6, 2010, I was one of the speakers at a Sustainable Pacific Grove meeting where another speaker that evening, Sean Houck, shared info about roundabouts.  I learned a lot about their impact on carbon emissions and more.

Since then, I’ve biked and driven roundabouts in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties and love them!

Here are some resources on roundabouts shared with Bicycling Monterey by Seaside resident and a consulting traffic engineer, Bob Shanteau:

Background: http://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/info-2014/livability-factsheet-modern-roundabouts.html
Fact sheet: http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/livable-communities/documents-2014/Livability%20Fact%20Sheets/AARPLivabilityFactSheet-Modern-Roundabouts-33116.pdf

Poster below was provided about the May 11 event, one of four scheduled by TAMC for May 2016 (see other dates above).

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 4.18.50 PM

This post was previously published May 9, 2016 and has been partially updated.

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