Roundabout rules for drivers still adjusting by the I-82 Valley Mall Blvd. interchange
UNION GAP, Wash. – WSDOT officials says drivers are still learning how to get around the new roundabout by the Valley Mall Boulevard and I-82 but so far they're pleased to report no accidents.
"I think right now they're trying to get used to it," said Don Whitehouse of WSDOT's South Central Region Office.
Roundabouts can cut down congestion and wait times when used properly, according to WSDOT.
Drivers need to remember that in a two-lane roundabout you must decide which lane you need to travel through before entering. Anyone already inside the roundabout has the right-of-way and drivers outside must yield to them.
"We've had a couple people actually turn the wrong direction in the roundabout, just because they were unsure," said Whitehouse.
Another rule WSDOT wants drivers to remember is that trucks need more room so don't drive next to them, just like on any other street.
The long-term benefits of roundabouts are less expensive maintenance in addition to less upfront cost compared to a traffic light. They also lead to less accidents and fatalities, according to WSDOT.