Introduction to Roundabouts
This online engineering PDH course distinguishes modern roundabouts from older style traffic circles both in how they operate and in how they are designed. It also defines the six basic types of roundabouts:
- Urban compact roundabouts
- Urban single-lane roundabouts
- Urban double-lane roundabouts
- Rural single-lane roundabouts
- Rural double-lane roundabouts
Traffic circles have been part of the transportation system in the United States since 1905 when the Columbus Circle designed by William Phelps Eno opened in New York City. The prevailing designs enabled high-speed merging and weaving of vehicles, as priority was given to entering vehicles, resulting in congestion and frequent collisions.
In 1966, the United Kingdom adopted a mandatory “give-way” rule at all circular intersections, which required entering traffic to give way, or yield, to circulating traffic. In addition, smaller circular intersections were proposed that required adequate horizontal curvature of vehicle paths to achieve slower entry and circulating speeds. These changes improved the safety characteristics of the circular intersections by reducing the number and particularly the severity of collisions.
This 1 PDH online course is applicable to traffic engineers, transportation planners, conceptual and detailed designers, and other technical professionals who are involved in the design and construction of roundabouts.
This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:
- Defining physical features of roundabouts
- Learning the key dimensions
- Distinguishing roundabouts from other circular intersections
- Understanding the different categories of roundabouts
- Familiarizing with the basic design characteristics for each type
In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review Chapter 1, “Introduction”, of the Federal Highway Administration Publication FHWA-RD-00-067, "Understanding Roundabouts".
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