I learned to drive in Surrey where, with a lack of frequent and sufficient transit service or bike routes at the time, driving was the top option for getting around. When I moved to Vancouver I sold my car and went pedestrian for about five straight years. Getting that perspective, especially living downtown, was an eye-opener in terms of the way traffic flows in this city. Now that I have a vehicle for the first time in about five years, I’m experiencing downtown from the other side of the wheel. While we try to only use our vehicle for weekend getaways out of town, on occasion I find myself in the midst of heavy commuter traffic or sometimes the most bizarre driving feats (wrong way down a one-way street, backing up all the way down a road etc.).
With school back in session and commuters returning from vacation, the streets of Vancouver just got busier. Living in the West End, roundabouts (or traffic circles) have replaced two or four-way stops in order to keep traffic calmed. You can also spot a giant roundabout at UBC (on 16th) or down a Highway 99 exit in Surrey. They can also help the flow of cars run more smoothly however I’m noticing a serious lack of knowledge when it comes to using roundabouts. I decided to head to the internet for a bit of an education in using traffic circles. What I found was a helpful video, produced in Ohio. After sharing it on Twitter last week I thought it was deserving of its own post.
If you’re unsure, it’s always better to proceed with caution and yield. Drivers just need to take their time (and get off their hand-held phones) in order to ensure everyone arrives at their destination safe and sound.