With the final layer of pavement in place, the Rocklin Road roundabouts project at Meyers Street and S. Grove Street is almost complete.

Work will continue for the next month or two finishing up the landscaping and other details.  Roundabouts are new for Rocklin, so it’s understandable that there is some driver apprehension, but by keeping a few rules in mind, everyone can successfully navigate the roundabouts.

First, choose your lane before entering the roundabout.  In advance of the roundabout, signs and pavement markings indicate which lanes may be used for the direction you want to go.

One of the most important rules is that drivers entering a roundabout must yield to circulating traffic, pedestrians and bicyclists.  Wait for a safe gap in traffic before entering the roundabout.  Circulating traffic has the right of way.

Stay in your lane.  Never change lanes within the roundabout.  Exit the roundabout by turning right onto your destination street.  Finally, share the circulating lanes with bicyclists.  Still have questions?  Visit the City of Rocklin’s website at www.rocklin.ca.us/roundabouts for more information and helpful graphics demonstrating the above rules.

Here are answers to some other questions the City has received about the roundabouts.

“Why did the City construct roundabouts?  The old intersections were working just fine.”

The intersection of Rocklin Road and Meyers Street was actually functioning very poorly.  A standard method for measuring traffic conditions results in letter grades, much like report card grades.  The intersection of Rocklin Road and Meyers Street was operating at an unacceptable Level of Service (LOS) F condition based on the long wait times experienced by motorists on southbound Meyers Street entering onto Rocklin Road in peak morning traffic.  This stretch of Rocklin Road also included unique design challenges, such as the need for access by both Fire Station #1 and the Police Department.

A study done in 2009 considered various traffic improvement scenarios including standard signalized intersections and roundabouts.  The study concluded that roundabouts on Rocklin Road at Meyers Street and S. Grove Street provided the greatest short- and long-term traffic capacity and safety improvements.

The use of roundabouts also allowed the City to access federal funding that would not have been available otherwise.  Funding for the intersection came from several sources, but about 80% came from federal and state transportation funding sources.   Remaining funding came from traffic impact fees collected by the City on new development, local utilities and funds from the City’s former Redevelopment Agency.

“Won’t there be more accidents in the roundabouts?”

According to data collected by the Federal Highway Administration, roundabouts are a significantly safer alternative to standard intersections.

More than 90% reduction in fatalities
76% reduction in injuries
35% reduction in all crashes
Slower speeds  of vehicles in the roundabout are generally safer for pedestrians
With roundabouts, head-on and high-speed right angle collisions are virtually eliminated.

“Roundabouts are just an “in” thing, but they don’t really have any benefits, do they?”

Roundabouts are not only safer, they provide other benefits as well:

Reduce congestion

Efficient during both peak hours and other times
Typically less delay
Reduce pollution and fuel use

Fewer stops and hard accelerations, less time idling
Save money

No signal equipment to install, power, and maintain
Complement other community values

Quieter operation
Functional and aesthetically pleasing
Roundabouts may take a little getting used to, but will have many benefits to drivers on Rocklin Road and the community.  A special thank you to all the businesses along Rocklin Road that have endured the last six months of construction.  We encourage residents to try out the roundabouts and stop by one of the businesses while you’re there.  For more information about roundabouts, visit www.rocklin.ca.us/roundabouts.