DUTCH TURBO-ROUNDABOUT TO BE TRIALED IN ALICANTE
Roundabout that encourages drivers to select exit before entering – and stick to it
It sounds like something destined for the future, but the fact is that the turbo-roundabout or turboglorieta is already a reality in several Spanish cities.
Devised by the Dutch to improve the capacity of very congested roundabouts studies show that they improve the flow of traffic whilst, at the same time, reducing the number of accidents.
Now the municipal group UPyD are proposing the construction of a trial roundabout in Alicante, starting at a location by the University of Alicante, where la avenida de la universidad, the A-70 and the A-77a converge.
The concept is simple but novel.
The lanes of traffic will have plastic separators, which will encourage traffic to stay in the appropriate lane, and encourage vehicles to slow down to do so. The layout also gives cyclists priority and means they are in the line of sight of drivers when vehicles exit the roundabout.
Although cars will be able to cross lanes, they will get a ‘bumping’ sensation reminding them to reduce their speed. The result is that lane changes and side collisions between vehicles are avoided.
The trial roundabout by the university is currently a major point of congestion, at certain times of the day suffering from major traffic jams. It is one of the most important junctions in the city.
At any one time of the year the University of Alicante has 26,000 students enrolled in addition to 1,259 employees and 2,331 administrative staff and scholars. This volume of people makes the junction a high-traffic location. The junction is also a connection point for the city with many northern towns of the province, including San Vicente from where many people travel into Alicante for their work.
"The main benefit of these turbo-roundabouts is to prevent traffic jams forming and therefore provide a much safer flow of traffic," said UPyD spokesman, Fernando Llopis.
In an official statement presented to Parliament, the politician has asked the City Council to urge the Ministry of Public Works to make modifications and changes to improve the traffic flow at the University roundabout, with the turbo-roundabout as an interesting option study.
In Spain, there are already several cities that have this system of roundabouts in place. The first was installed in Grado (Asturias) in 2009 since which time they have also been implemented in Oviedo, Mallorca and Talavera.
And for me, well, anything that can make the management of roundabouts here in Spain safer for motorists and cyclists will be a most welcome benefit, as traffic islands seem to be a complete mystery to many Spanish drivers.
Amazingly, despite being the only country in Europe to have such a regulation, the authorities at the Dgt continue to accept that the inside lane of the roundabout serves no legal or practical purpose and where it is quite correct for a driver in the right hand lane to turn left, often with no indication, the result often being the screeching of quickly applied foot brakes from vehicles travelling in the left hand lane with the intention of carrying straight on.
A reminder that whilst rules of the road are seldom enforced in Spain, they do exist and where, on a roundabout, the car in the right hand lane always has priority, even to the extent of completing a 360° turn, without need of any indication.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/44091/
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