Driving You Crazy: Traffic Circle Troubles

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) –  NEWS10 ABC has hit the streets, watching the way we all drive and talking to you about what drives you crazy.

First up in our series is traffic circles.

You get a lot of slow drivers who don’t know how to exit or the opposite, drivers who don’t yield and cut you off.

Cruising down Fuller Road, you’re driving in circles and it’s driving you crazy.

Three roundabouts, where cars are getting cut off, blocked in, or nearly into a crash.

“They don’t slow down at all. They just think they can beat the car going in and they go and that’s not right,” Don Skelley said.

People are particularly complaining about the roundabout near SUNY Polytechnic.

The right-hand lane is a right turn only. Despite a sign and noticeable pavement markings, many cars were cutting off traffic and driving straight through.

“We are going to put more signs in. put some more reflectors up so people pay attention and the problem is, people don’t,” Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said.

We’re cut off not once, not twice, but three times! Forcing us to a crawl and maddened drivers lay on the horn.

Schenectady is also part of the roundabout club with its first traffic circle by Rivers Casino.

Police say they’ve had a few fender benders there, and we happened to be there for one.

“You do see some people, when they are driving through, somewhat confused perhaps as to what exactly to do,” Schenectady Police Sgt. Matt Dearing said.

Here’s a crash course.

When you’re coming up to a roundabout, look to your left and yield to both lanes of traffic.

Cars already in the circle have the right of way and pay attention to the signs and pavement markings. The outside lane doesn’t always lead straight.

“If you’re not paying attention to the markings and how it works, you run into problems,” McCoy said. “Sometimes, you’ll see people going around in a full circle because they don’t know how to exit. They’ve been around long enough now but there are still issues with them.”

Traffic circles have been around in the Capital Region since the 1930s. You used to only see them in the Northeast but now they are popping up all over the country.


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