The burning question of this broiling summer is whether Raleigh drivers will be able to navigate the sophisticated new roundabout at the intersection of Pullen Road and Hillsborough Street without resorting to some decidedly unsophisticated words and gestures.
Let’s face it, this ain’t Pinehurst, much less Paris. Who knows whether the roundabout’s grand social experiment will pay off in a kinder, gentler traffic flow past the Belltower, or an epic bottleneck in front of Holladay Hall.
If you want to try out the roundabout, keep these simple tips in mind:
- Yield to traffic in the roundabout. Enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap in traffic.
- Yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk or preparing to cross.
- Don’t stop for emergency vehicles in the roundabout. Exit and then pull over.
The Hillsborough roundabout has two lanes, which may lead to confusion and potentially tears for some drivers. Generally speaking, if you want to turn right, enter the roundabout in the right lane. And if you want to turn left, enter in the left lane.
But what if you want to go straight?
If you’re approaching the roundabout on Hillsborough, the right lane allows you to proceed through and remain on Hillsborough.
If you’re approaching on Pullen, the left lane lets you stay on Pullen.
Depending on the direction you’re traveling, you have other options (download a brochure with a map). So be sure to pay attention to the signs and choose your lane before you get to the traffic circle.
Remember, the roundabout is designed to save time and reduce fuel consumption, so let’s keep the complaining to a minimum. Eventually everybody will get used to it and Raleigh drivers will drive as expertly in the roundabout as they do on the beltline.