Subject: Roundabouts and traffic circles
Hello Ziners,

I read a newspaper article today about how roundabouts are increasingly coming into being at U.S. intersections. I had thought that roundabout was the British term for what the U.S. calls traffic circles, but now I see that there's a difference.

The site shows that modern roundabouts are being used to control traffic on moderate-volume streets and roads, as has been more common in Europe, and its examples of traffic circles are in residential neighborhoods. The site brings in what I would call historical traffic circles, around a monument or the like. They are rare in the U.S. and usually have yield signs; there's some confusion over what the right-of-way rules are, whether the U.S. and continental Europe have opposite rules or whether the rules change depending on whether it's a traffic circle or roundabout.

In Italy, in historic piazze where the traffic goes in a circle, I've understood that one yields to the right, so that traffic in the circle yields to the traffic entering the circle. In recent trips there, I've found new roundabouts built to control traffic (even in light-traffic neighborhoods) that have yield signs at the entrance, so in this case the traffic in the circle has the right-of-way.

So I have a confused take on the topic; it might be nice to have some discussion of how the rules are in different places and circumstances.

Andrew Missouri