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Roundabouts

US-131/M-86 roundabout at Fife Lake in MDOT's North Region.
Department of Transportation

Roundabouts

A roundabout is a circular intersection design increasingly being used by MDOT. While some people use the term "roundabouts" and "traffic circles" interchangeably, they are not the same thing. Roundabouts are typically smaller than traffic circles, and drivers must yield to vehicles already in the roundabout before entering.

Roundabouts have been proven to safely decrease traffic delays and congestion. When selected and designed correctly, roundabouts can handle a high volume of traffic, including commercial trucks and large emergency vehicles.

MDOT Roundabout Videos

How to Drive a Roundabout Video

How to Drive a Roundabout

Roundabouts are easy to navigate and safer than traditional intersections. Remember, traffic in the roundabout always moves counterclockwise.

  • Choose your lane before entering.
  • Yield to traffic already in the roundabout.
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • Indicate your exit by using your turn signal.
  • Use signs and pavement markings to help guide you.

Advantages

Improves Safety

  • Reduces vehicle speeds and conflict points.
  • Eliminates serious and fatal type head-on, left-turn crashes.
  • Generally safer for pedestrians due to lower speeds.

Reduces Congestion

  • Typically fewer delays.
  • Increases capacity.

Reduces Pollution

  • Fewer stops and hard accelerations, and less time idling. 
  • Provides more green space and landscape architecture.

Saves Money

  • Reduces long-term operational maintenance costs.
  • No traffic signals or equipment to power or maintain.