McKenzie Towne Roundabout
Remember - Right-of-way rules for roundabouts are simple: yield to pedestrians and yield to vehicles on the left.
Entering from the East arm of McKenzie Towne Blvd:
Entering from McKenzie Towne Gate:
Entering from Inverness Gate:
Entering from the West arm of McKenzie Towne Blvd:
Entering from Prestwick Boulevard:
The McKenzie Towne Roundabout has been operational since 1999 and was one of the first multi-lane roundabouts in Canada. Roundabouts, with yield on entry, are fundamentally different from traffic circles due to their lower speeds on entry and pedestrian crossing locations. Collisions that do occur at roundabouts result in lower severity outcomes since right-angle collisions are eliminated and speeds are dramatically reduced compared to a conventional intersection.
The main rules for roundabouts are:
1. Drivers must watch for and obey traffic signs and or pavement markings.
2. Vehicles entering the intersection must yield to traffic already in the circle.
3. While in the circle, the driver on the right must yield to the driver on the left.
4. Do not change lanes in the circle.
5. Activate your right signal when approaching the exit you wish to use.
6. As you approach, scan for pedestrians and cyclists at the crosswalks at the entrance and exits of the circle
There are signs that lead up to the main McKenzie Towne Roundabout entrances that indicate a straight-through path is available to those in the right lane, thus including all exits up to that one. You can visit Roundabouts | Alberta.ca to see an example of the “regulatory sign – lane control” signage.
A traffic study was done in 2019 that showed roughly 16,500 cars and 318 pedestrians use this roundabout on an average day! Collisions at the roundabout are reviewed periodically and consistently show there are half as many collisions as at comparable traffic signals. The collisions that do occur are generally of a lower severity (3.6% resulting in injury) than at equivalent signalized intersections (9.6% resulting in injury). The majority of collisions are rear-end collisions so slow down and expect to stop as vehicles in front of you need to yield to pedestrians or other vehicles.
Revisions to traffic control were made in 2014 to clarify the operation of the roundabout and a Rectangular Rapid Flashing beacon was added in 2017 on the west leg of Mckenzie Towne Boulevard to enhance the crossing where the most active transportation users are present. Right-of-way rules for roundabouts are simple: yield to pedestrians and yield to vehicles on the left.
Engineering practice has advanced since the roundabout was built and opportunities will be explored to further enhance safety and operations in conjunction with future work such as pavement resurfacing. For now, as long as people follow the rules above, our infamous circle will continue to be the incredibly safe (albeit frustrating) roundabout with official drawings for intended lane use.