The two multi-lane roundabouts in the triangle area may seem daunting to some drivers, but Hilliard's transportation engineer has some tips to steer them through it.

The two multi-lane roundabouts in the triangle area may seem daunting to some drivers, but Hilliard's transportation engineer has some tips to steer them through it.

"You need to know where your destination is, look at the signs and pick that correct lane before you even get into the first roundabout," said Letty Schamp. "If you want to make a left-hand turn, you probably need to be in the left-hand lane. If you want to make a right-hand turn, you probably want to be in the right-hand lane. You don't want to switch lanes once you're in the roundabout. That's the big no-no."

Schamp said that drivers wouldn't make a left-hand turn from the right-hand lane at a traditional signalized intersection, and the same applies to roundabouts. Think of them as circular intersections.

Other tips for drivers are:

• Yield to traffic that's already in the roundabout. If there is no circulating traffic approaching, you can enter without stopping.

• Slow down. Roundabouts are designed for speeds of 20 to 25 miles per hour. "The key thing about the roundabouts is definitely slowing people down, but keeping them moving at the same time," Schamp said.

• Do not pass large trucks or trailers.

• Do not impede emergency vehicles.

• Watch for pedestrians.

For their part, pedestrians should be sure to cross only at marked crosswalks. When approaching the roundabout, they should pause on the ramp and look left, and when traffic is clear or stopped, proceed to the splitter island. Once in the splitter island, pedestrians need to pause and look right. When traffic is clear or stopped, they can proceed to the ramp.

Bicyclists can dismount and use the crosswalks as a pedestrian would. If they are experienced, they can negotiate the roundabout as an automobile would.

Schamp said drivers who are reluctant to use the roundabouts should practice by driving them during times when it isn't busy.

"Lots of times it's just learning what lane you need to be in," Schamp said. She said once drivers have tried it a couple of times, they'll find it's "pretty easy."

With the triangle project's unique three-intersection, two-roundabout configuration, drivers can get into businesses more easily, as well as make u-turns, Schamp said, among other benefits.

"The one thing I always say is the roundabouts are great 24 hours a day. Sure, there might be some peak periods where there's a little bit of delay, but you would have that at a signalized intersection, too."

For more information on roundabouts, click on the triangle project link on the city of Hilliard's website at hilliardohio.gov. There is also a "Rules of the Road" video produced by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission that can be viewed at www.morpc.org/ transportation/Rules_Of_The_Road/Howto.asp. Also useful are these sites: roundabout.region.waterloo.on.ca/howtouse/flash.html and www.dot. wisconsin.gov/safety/motorist/roaddesign/roundabout-works.htm.