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Kitsap County Public Works
Department of Public Works
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA  MS-26
Phone:(360)337-5777 * Fax:(360)337-4867






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Modern Roundabouts

A roundabout is a one-way, circular intersection without traffic signal equipment in which traffic flows around a center island. Through proper design, roundabouts can easily accommodate emergency and large sized vehicles. Drivers should behave in the same manner as they would on any other road if an emergency vehicle approaches: carefully move your vehicle as far right as possible and, if necessary, stop until the emergency vehicle passes.

A typical roudabout

Yield at Entry:  Traffic entering the circle yields to traffic already in the circle.

Traffic Flow:  Pavement markings and signs direct traffic into a one-way counterclockwise flow.

Because the only movement allowed upon entry or exit from a roundabout is a right turn, the occurrence of crashes that result in injury is substantially reduced. Small-angle collisions, the type of collisions that can occur as a result of a right-hand turn, are typically less severe than other types of collisions.

For Vehicles Approaching a Roundabout
A driver should use the same caution as approaching any yield sign. Drivers must be prepared to stop and wait for a sufficient gap in the circulating traffic before entering the roundabout. Vehicles already inside the circulatory roadway have the right-of-way over entering vehicles.  Follow precautions:

  • Slow down (most roundabouts can be safely traveled at about 15 miles per hour).
  • Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.
  • Yield to vehicles already in the roundabout.
  • Once in the roundabout you have the right-of-way. Even with the right-of-way, always be cautious and look for unexpected vehicle, pedestrian or bicycle movement.
  • Signal before exiting and yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.

Signaling at a Roundabout
All the normal rules of the road apply. It is very important to be courteous and signal your intentions as you approach and drive through the roundabout.

  • Through Movement:  No signal is required for through movement, it would be courteous to signal right at your exit.
  • Right Turn Movement: Signal a right turn on the approach and while in the roundabout.

Information for Pedestrians

  • Cross only at designated crossing locations.
  • Watch for cars; you have the right-of-way but drivers may not be paying enough attention.
  • The roundabout has a splitter island that can serve as a refuge island, which allows you to cross the street one lane at a time.
  • Do not cross over to the center island in the roundabout.

Information for Bicyclists

  • If you are comfortable riding in traffic, take the lane and circulate like you are in a vehicle. However, as with motorists, you must wait at the yield line for a sufficient gap in the circulating traffic before entering the roundabout.
  • Be sure to use hand signals to let drivers know your intentions.
  • If you are unsure about using the roundabout, dismount and walk your bike as a pedestrian at the designated crosswalks.

Kitsap County Public Works
Kitsap 1: 360.337.5777

Updated:  February 01, 2017
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