Getting around with roundabouts

Getting around with roundabouts

ISHPEMING — The change from a traditional intersection to the roundabouts connecting US–41 and Second Street in Ishpeming has inspired a bit of uncertainty for some local residents. Understanding what to do when faced with a roundabout can help ease their anxiety.

When using any roundabout, there are two big things drivers need to remember to do: slow down and yield to traffic inside the roundabout.

“If there’s somebody in the circle to your left, they have the right–of–way,” said Joel Kauppila, Traffic and Safety Engineer at the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Ishpeming Transportation Service Center. “If you’re on US–41, it doesn’t mean that you have the right–of–way automatically to go through. You wait for them to clear, you find a gap, and you proceed.”

Drivers should not stop once they are in the roundabout. For travelers on US–41, choosing a lane will soon become an additional part of the roundabout experience.

“Under construction it’s a single lane, but when it’s complete, it will be a multi–lane,” Kauppila added. “On US–41, there will be the same two lanes you have right now. The right lane will be for right turns or through movements. The left lane will be for left turns or through movements. Follow the lane signs; if you’re going left or right, make sure you’re n the proper lane, and once you get into the roundabout, once you find a gap, you must stay in that lane.”

Drivers should also avoid driving alongside large trucks to allow space for those trucks to maneuver through the circle. For more information on how roundabouts work and how to safely use them, visit michigan.gov/roundabouts.