It’s been a couple of years since a roundabout was installed at the intersection of Radio Drive and Bailey Road, and one Woodbury Patch reader said people are still having trouble figuring it out.
So Woodbury Patch asked Scott Melander, traffic officer with the Woodbury PD, about the roundabout, its use and how people are dealing with it.
Woodbury Patch: Why was the roundabout installed?
Scott Melander: Roundabouts are safer. They keep traffic moving, and it takes a 90-degree intersection—where somebody might blow a stop sign—and puts traffic at a glancing angle. So if there is a crash, it’s not a 90-degree crash.
Patch: How is the roundabout supposed to work?
Melander: They all work differently. We’re talking about the Woodbury roundabout. If you’re in the right lane, you can go right or straight. If you’re in the left lane you have a couple options as well. You can go straight or around the roundabout and go left, or all the way around to where you were coming from.
The other violation you’ll see is failure to yield to right of way. If a car is in the roundabout, everybody else has to yield, and the signage says that. Even if they’re in the circle and in the left lane, you have to yield.
Patch: Have there been issues with the roundabout?
Melander: The issue we’ve had is with people not understanding what they’re supposed to do. Drivers need to concentrate on driving. It’s not a European roundabout. We don’t usually give tickets—it’s more education.
Patch: Are there plans for more roundabouts in Woodbury?
Melander: They will be the future, especially at major intersections. It’s just safer and they really reduce the chances of serious injuries. We had talked about more at one point. Some of it has to do with land use and what’s available and the need. Is it stop signs or a roundabout? I’m for them—they keep traffic moving. And we all know there are plenty of traffic lights in Woodbury.
Patch: How is the roundabout working?
Melander: Overall, I think it’s working great. They’re starting to figure out how it works. I’m hearing less grumbling about the intersection. And we’re stopping fewer cars. Lately we’ve had fewer people here having problems with it. It’s mostly people from outside the city or coming up from Cottage Grove. Some people don’t have a clue. But once you stop them, the first thing they say is, “I hate the roundabout.” But once you explain how it works they appreciate it.
For Washington County's "Roundabout U" click here.