Sound Off

Sound off: Can you tell us what the safest and the lawful use of a roundabout is for bicyclists and motorists? I often find myself on my bike at the 19th Street and Barker Avenue roundabout when it is busiest. Drivers sometimes stop to allow me to enter. I know this is a hazard. How do bicyclists and motorists navigate safely?

Megan Gilliland, a city of Lawrence spokeswoman, said generally there are three options for bicyclists. The best one is up to the rider’s experience and level of comfort. • Ride like a car: If you are comfortable riding in traffic, ride on the circulatory roadway of the roundabout like a car. Obey all of the same driving instructions as for cars. • Walk like a pedestrian: If you are uncomfortable riding in traffic and no special separate facility is provided, dismount and exit the approach lane before the splitter island on the approach, and move to the sidewalk. Once on the sidewalk, walk your bicycle like a pedestrian. • Use a shared bicycle-pedestrian path: Some roundabouts may have a ramp that leads to a widened sidewalk or a shared bicycle-pedestrian path that runs around the perimeter of the roundabout. Be courteous to pedestrians and yield to them.


psycho_theclown 4 years, 1 month ago

All vehicles should use their signals if they're turning at roundabouts. It's still a left turn or a right turn. And the city should remove all the crap in the middle of roundabouts that prevent a clear view through the intersection; it would be nice to know ahead of time that there are pedestrians crossing on the other side.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

If you're not exceeding the 15 mph speed limit, and paying attention, you shouldn't have to see over the middle of the roundabout to see pedestrians and respect their right of way.

cozborn 4 years, 1 month ago

Yeah I agree with bozo, the purpose of the stuff in the middle is to get people to slow down, 15mph is the limit, and the law says you need only use your right turn signal to exit.......

JackMcKee 4 years, 1 month ago

I fully expect to see a question like this in the near future. When I use my oven the pans get hot. Can you tell me the best way to get them out without frying my skin off?

This might be the worst section of any newspaper ever concrieved.

JackMcKee 4 years, 1 month ago

it should be renamed "dumbest question contest "

Lawrence Morgan 4 years, 1 month ago

Your comments are ridiculous.

The section is very good for many people. It helps them to get questions answered and discussed.

Your rotten attitude is typical and I will flag it for not being on the subject or being helpful in any way.

JackMcKee 4 years, 1 month ago

How completely off topic and unhelpful.

Curtis Lange 4 years, 1 month ago

lol, there are some dumb questions. The 'stamp prices went up; are my forever rate stamps still good' question is still my favorite.

Randall Uhrich 4 years, 1 month ago

I heard of a 19-year-old girl who wondered why people put "stickers" on their letters. Probably a Johnson county coed

booyalab 4 years, 1 month ago

That sounds like an urban legend, like the old computer-cup-holder-is-broken tech support call.

geekin_topekan 4 years, 1 month ago

If my bank account says Zero but I still have checks left, can i still get money?

booyalab 4 years, 1 month ago

That's hard to do when many cyclists don't behave like other drivers.

skinny 4 years, 1 month ago

How about the bicyclist use the sidewalk or the bike paths! Let’s see, a 3500 pound car vs a 140 bicyclist, who do you think is going to win?? A little common sense!

Hooligan_016 4 years, 1 month ago

How about 19th street is a designated bike path and the bike lanes are installed all the way to the roundabout there at Barker.

Common sense says both parties (car and bicyclist) pay attention and give each other the ability to safely navigate the road.

Ken Harris 4 years, 1 month ago

+1. Note that the bike lane ends just prior to the roundabout indicating that bikes merge with traffic and take the lane.

mdlund0 4 years, 1 month ago

Roads are not built exclusively for cars. Citizens who ride bicycles (and I am not typically one of them) pay the same taxes that drivers of cars do for the building and maintenance of roads. Most cyclists are thoughtful enough to stay well to the right to allow cars to pass them on the left, despite having every right to consume a full lane as would a motorcycle. Sidewalks, on the other hand, are NOT built for bicycles, they are built specifically so that pedestrians can stay safely out of traffic: cars, bicycles, and otherwise.

Curtis Lange 4 years, 1 month ago

Wrong on both accounts. Bicycles should be on sidewalks when not in a business district or when bike lanes are not present. They also can not take up a whole lane 'if they want,' they must stay as far right as would any slow moving vehicle.

Curtis Lange 4 years, 1 month ago

Hope you're talking to mdlund, lol. If not, YOU might want to check the rules.

Curtis Lange 4 years, 1 month ago

Lawrence City Code Chapter 17-114. Read up. More specifically part d.

Ken Harris 4 years, 1 month ago

Note the "far to the right as is practicable" which generally means as is safe. Sidewalks are not bike paths and are MORE dangerous for cyclists to use an the roadway. I'll take the lane when it is not safe for a car to pass me, as in when the road is too narrow. It isn't against the law for a driver to use their brakes or have to proceed slowly.

Curtis Lange 4 years, 1 month ago

lol, and even the link YOU posted says what I said...8-1590, again part d. ;)

cozborn 4 years, 1 month ago

fuel tax pays for roads, when i air up my Raleigh I dont pay any taxes

Brian Laird 4 years, 1 month ago

Fuel taxes partially pay for roads, but road expenditures exceed significantly the revenue brought in by fuel taxes with the balance coming from enteral funds. Therefore, anyone paying taxes is also paying for roads, including bicyclists.

Loretta James 4 years, 1 month ago

i disagree most cyclists do not obey traffic laws like stop signs and lights. they even run them with their small kids following them. Fess up cyclist most of you dont stop for stop signs.

repaste 4 years, 1 month ago

Most bikes come very close to a stop - the wobble-. same as the rolling stop most drivers use when traffic is lite. I would say very few drivers stop behind the sign (where law requires), they pull up to edge of road (where you can see). The guy on bike has much better field of vision and awareness .

evilpenguin 4 years, 1 month ago

If people even knew how to work a roundabout while driving a car, things would be a whole lot easier. Yield to any vehicles coming from your left, regardless of whether they are car, bike, moped etc. I don't know how many times people have just sped right in when I am right at their road. Roundabouts are a great idea to keep traffic flowing, but most drivers don't seem to know how to operate one.

tomatogrower 4 years, 1 month ago

Or they stop when there is no one in the circle.

57chevy 4 years, 1 month ago

I would move immediately to a state such as Iowa or Wisconsin where bicyclists have rights. Here, you can get mowed down in a hit-and-run accident by a drunk and he gets off scott-free. I can' t believe you ride through a roundabout. Thats crazy dangerous. About the same as calling the police to your own house and telling them you're emotionally upset.

Eric Rice 4 years, 1 month ago

The main problem with roundabouts is the drivers speeding up to beat the next guy. If we would all slow down, a lot of problems would be solved.

verity 4 years, 1 month ago

"I can' t believe you ride through a roundabout. Thats crazy dangerous."

Pretty much. It may be legal, but it ain't smart.

I agree that the crap blocking one's view has no place in a roundabout. It's much safer to be able to see clearly.

Brian Laird 4 years, 1 month ago

Why? Just because you say it doesn't mean that it is true. In a roundabout all you need to see is the traffic to your left and the entering traffic to your right. That is how they work.

If someone is a careful, observant rider, there is nothing inherently dangerous about riding a bike in a roundabout. If someone isn't a careful, observant rider, then they would have problems at any intersection, not just roundabouts.

gphawk89 4 years, 1 month ago

Being a careful, observant rider doesn't help much if you get whacked from behind or from the side by a careless, unobservant driver. But you're right, that does apply to roundabouts, intersections, and even just riding down a street.

I consider myself careful and observant and I've been hit (rear ended or sideswiped) by a car three times in the past decade. So I walk my bike across any major intersection. And I ride on the sidewalk when I can (in the absence of pedestrians of course). I don't care what the law says about riding on a sidewalk; getting hit by a car hurts a heck of a lot more than getting hit with a fine.

budwhysir 4 years, 1 month ago

I was concerened about this problem too but I see someone has taken care of it for me. You see someone let the air out of my tires, and I walked my bike to the gas station to get air, but now they charge you for air and I dont have pockets in my suit I wear for riding. So, now I just push my bike everywhere I go

pace 4 years, 1 month ago

I have the same question about the roundabouts since they started being installed. What ignorant, do nothing, person or department is in charge of the community education on helping the community who have to drive the things. I have watched, and seems sound off, the occasional rare ticket combined with wrecks and near misses is the education package designed by the city.

RoeDapple 4 years, 1 month ago

Roundabouts cause premature sidewall wear.

asixbury 4 years, 1 month ago

Roundabouts are pretty easy to navigate. But I guess you have to have a brain to do it, and it seems a lot of people may be lacking in that area. I prefer roundabouts to stoplights any day; they’re much quicker. On a bike: ride on the sidewalk through the intersection, if possible, and you won't have to worry about getting hit by a non-observant driver.

budwhysir 4 years, 1 month ago

sounds to me like everyone is talking in circles around here. The real problem is not that the rounabout is there, its that you have to use it when you come to it.

kernal 4 years, 1 month ago

Per an earlier Soundoff question, bicyclists can ride their bikes on sidewalks when there is not heavy pedestrian use. In other words, don't ride them on the sidewalks downtown.

Here's an idea for LJW. Since it seems Kansans no longer have to take the driver's license written test after they take it the first time, providing they renew their license before it expires, how about posting rules of the road from that manual one day a week to remind people what those rules are. Seems to be a mass cognitive memory lapse of those in Lawrence.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 4 years, 1 month ago

You should put a bucket on the back of your bicycle so you have somewhere to poo.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 4 years, 1 month ago

Fuel taxes help pay for the roads. Bicycles should be registered and taxed so they too, could help pay for the paths and other things they demand. Yes those of them who work pay income taxes providing they make more than the cutoff and don't have more kids than they can afford. But then again, those who put the least into the system demand the most from it.

Brian Laird 4 years, 1 month ago

Most adult bicycle riders also have cars, so your argument that they aren't paying their fair share is wrong. Fuel taxes don't cover anywhere near the cost for road infrastructure, so a substantial portion is also coming from income, sales and property taxes - not everyone pays income taxes, but anyone who rents pays property taxes indirectly and sales taxes directly I pay a significant amount of income, property and sales taxes, and so resent your snide slight at bicyclists being mooches. Also, bicycle riders don't put near the amount of stress on roads that cars do - I would imagine it is probably negligible.

I have exactly the same right to ride my bike on public streets that you do to drive or walk on them. Exactly the same. Not more. Not less. I don't know why that is so hard to understand.

I'm not sure where this knee-jerk animosity towards bicyclists in this state comes from -yes, some of it comes from the fact that there are bicyclists who flaunt the rules, just as there are drivers who don't obey the law at all times; however, to me most of the animosity just comes across as petty and mean.

Brian Laird 4 years, 1 month ago

"They are not likely to live thru an altercation with a moving vehicle. It sure would be nice if they could at least extend some self-preservation by signaling a turn and stop running stop signs and red lights!"

A. The turn signal is something that Kansans don't seem to be able to operate on a bike or on a car. B. This is a classic case of blaming the victim. You don't want to be responsible for being an attentive driver, so if something happens it is the other persons' fault.

"I have come to hate bicyclists because they are always breaking the law."

I think that if you watch most auto drivers you would see a similar lack of respect for the rules of the road - or just downright driving incompetence. Given the number of people on these boards to seem to lack enough basic intelligence to figure out the simple task of using a roundabout, that is not too surprising. I'm not saying that to put down car drivers - I am one - however, I say it to point out that people always seem to blame the "other side" for things that are done by both sides, leading to unnecessary conflict.

"They are such a traffic hazard!"

Translation: "I hate having not always getting my way and having to share the world with other people."

Luckily, you don't get to vote on this.

booyalab 4 years, 1 month ago

"This is a classic case of blaming the victim." This is one of my favorite expressions. It's a classic case of blaming someone with an idea for how we can have fewer victims.

JustNoticed 4 years, 1 month ago

I ride a bike. I follow the rules of the road, especially right of way. So don't think you're doing anyone a favor when you don't do the same, like when you sit there at a stop sign when it's your turn and try to wave me through. All you do is create dangerous confusion.

Curtis Lange 4 years, 1 month ago

I watched someone in a vehicle do that the other day at the four way stop at N Iowa by the new hotel. The bicyclist ended up going but I couldn't believe it.

pizzapete 4 years, 1 month ago

Exactly. I follow the rules of the road, too, and see the surprised look drivers give when I stop at a stop sign. Drivers please quit stopping and waiving for me to go, when you clealy have the right of way, I will go when you are out of the way.

Riding a bike, something that should be encouraged, can be a dangerous way to travel in Lawrence. I get yelled at when I'm on the road, yelled at when I'm on the sidewalk, etc. You people who drive your cars everywhere should try and walk or ride a bike for a week, it would be an eye opening experience for you. You'd quickly find that it's the people who drive cars that are the larger and more dangerous problem on our roads.

purplesage 4 years, 1 month ago

Get a D-8 Cat to lead the way and get rid of the lousy thing. Do us all a favor

David Dunlap 4 years, 1 month ago

"The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion or ethnic background, is that we all believe we are above-average drivers." Dave Barry

jesse499 4 years, 1 month ago

That sign that says (YELD) means if the car in front of you goes throuh the guy to your right has the next turn not that you blast on behind him if people took their turn at roundabout like they should there wouldn't be a problem. I've been at this roundabout in a car and the people on 19th wouldn't stop to give you your turn If they new what the (YELD) sign ment and followed it no problem. With no Drivers schools anymore this is what you get.

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