What is a Roundabout?
A roundabout is a circular intersection without stop signs or traffic signals. Traffic moves counter-clockwise around a central island.
Roundabouts offer the benefits of continuous traffic flow, lower travel speeds and fewer collisions. They can cost less to operate and maintain and reduce emissions when compared to traffic signals. Traffic studies determine whether a roundabout or traffic signal is appropriate for an intersection.
How to Safely Use a Roundabout
When approaching a roundabout:
- Slow down and watch for pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists when approaching the yield line at the entrance of the roundabout
- Stay in your lane
- Always yield to traffic in the roundabout
- Wait for a safe gap in the traffic, remember that motorists already in the roundabout have the right-of-way
When entering a roundabout:
- Look for pedestrians crossing, approaching cyclists and motorists
- Yield and stop for pedestrians
- Enter when there is enough space in the roundabout
- Travel counter-clockwise, keep to the right of the central island
- Always signal lane changes
- When in the roundabout do not stop – keep moving
When exiting a roundabout:
- Use your right turn signal before exiting
- Watch for pedestrians and cyclists
Rules of a Roundabout
Give large vehicles plenty of room to navigate within the roundabout.
Never cross to the Central Island of the roundabout. Pedestrians should always wait for gaps in traffic and only cross when it is safe to do so.
Experienced cyclists may ride through the roundabout with motorists. Before entering the roundabout, cyclists should carefully move into the centre of the appropriate travel lane. They should stay in the middle of the lane until they are clear of the roundabout. Less experienced cyclists should dismount and walk their bicycles, following the same rules that apply to pedestrians.
Yield to Emergency Vehicles:
If you have not yet entered the roundabout, pull over to the right if possible and allow the emergency vehicle to pass you. If you are in the roundabout, proceed to your intended exit before pulling over to the right to allow the emergency vehicle to pass you. Never stop inside the roundabout.
Signs to Watch For
Reminder to yield; prepare to stop if necessary
Upcoming roundabout exits and where they will take you
Roundabout Directional Signs
Do not drive beside trucks in a roundabout
Where has York Region installed roundabouts?
Three roundabouts have been installed by the Region to improve mobility needs. The first Regional roundabout was installed in fall of 2013 at the intersection of York/Durham Line and Durham Regional Road 5 in the City of Markham, as shown in the figure below. This was followed in 2016 with the implementation of roundabouts at Ninth Line and Bayberry Street in the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville and Lloydtown-Aurora Road and Keele Street in the Township of King. Two roundabouts on Regional roads have also been implemented by other jurisdictions including the Province at the intersection of Highway 48 and Bloomington Road in 2018 and Durham Region at the intersection of Lake Ridge Road and Pefferlaw Road both in 2019.