Yielding in Roundabouts
Jeff asked: The roundabout I am writing about is the one at Southern and A1A. Often times I am out solo or riding with my cycling club and after signaling I ride through the roundabout as I would if I were driving. Many of my friends will stop in the roundabout letting oncoming cars enter. Is it safer to signal, and enter the roundabout as a group or yield to oncoming motorists?
We won’t comment on which is safer, since you must make that determination based on all the conditions present at the time.
You are operating a vehicle and have the same rights and duties as other drivers. You must comply with all traffic control devices, as must the other drivers entering the roundabout.
s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations
(1)Every person propelling a vehicle by human power has all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this chapter, except as to special regulations in this chapter, and except as to provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.
Normally, there is a yield sign for traffic entering the roundabout so those drivers must yield, stopping if necessary, and traffic already in the roundabout has the right of way.
s. 316.123 – Vehicle Entering Stop or Yield Intersection
(3) The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall, in obedience to such sign, slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and, if required for safety to stop, shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway. After slowing or stopping, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the driver is moving across or within the intersection.
Stopping for someone facing a yield sign may cause confusion and stopping in the roadway when not necessary may impede other traffic and may be a violation.
s. 316.1945 – Stopping, Standing, or Parking Prohibited in Specified Places
(1) Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic …. no person shall:
(a) Stop, stand, or park a vehicle:
3. Within an intersection.
s. 316.194 – Stopping, Standing or Parking Outside of Municipalities
(1) Upon any highway outside of a municipality, no person shall stop …. upon the paved or main-traveled part of the highway.
Of course a cyclist in or entering a roundabout must obey the rules that apply to other drivers at roundabouts. However if this “roundabout” is the intersection on A1A where it meets Southern Boulevard and makes a 90-degree turn on the south side of the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach (https://email@example.com,-80.0378905,194m/data=!3m1!1e3 ), roundabout rules would not apply, because the intersection is not designed, signed or marked as a roundabout–at least not if the Yield signing is still as shown in Google’s Streetview imagery from April 2011.
What appears in the imagery is a type of circular intersection (no longer much used in roadway design), not a roundabout. Yield signs are shown placed at the “exit” points from the circle. A cyclist or motorist traveling in the circle who wants to turn onto one of the connecting roads at one of these points must yield to traffic approaching from the right, including any traffic entering the circle.
Still that way in October 2013 (even though FDOT inventories it as OCEAN BLVD ROUNDABOUT): http://www3.dot.state.fl.us/videologsource2/13493003/A93060100N/I_00009.jpg