Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Getting to know the Wapato Way roundabout - Part III

By Lizzy Buechel

You may think you know the Wapato Way roundabout in Fife, but do you ‘know know’ the Wapato Way roundabout?

With two years of use under its belt, the Wapato Way roundabout connecting State Route 99 to the new Wapato Way East Bridge over I-5 has become a familiar intersection for frequent travelers through Fife. But sometimes people need to know a little more about something to truly understand it. So we’ve done a three-part blog series to re-introduce the Wapato Way roundabout and answer some of the most common questions we hear from the community.

Part I: Don’t stop me now: Why a roundabout instead of a traffic signal?

Part II: It likes big trucks, and it cannot lie: Is a roundabout safe for trucks?

Part III:  It spins me right round baby, right round: How do I use a roundabout

Round and round and round they go. …where do they stop? Nobody. …wait! We do know. Please don’t stop in a roundabout! Here are a few general tips to keep in mind when approaching and using a roundabout:

  • Yield to drivers already in the roundabout (on the circulating roadway)
  • Avoid driving next to oversize vehicles; give them plenty of space
  • Prior to entering the roundabout, choose the appropriate lane for the direction you’d like to exit, and stay in your lane. Do not change lanes!
  • Do not stop in the roundabout
  • Slow down when approaching a roundabout – roundabouts are designed for speeds between 15 and 25 mph

If you still feel like you’re going in circles, we have some excellent resources you can circle back to. Below you will find everything from safety tips to instructional videos.

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of the Wapato Way roundabout and why we are installing roundabouts on the SR 167 Completion project, check out this roundabout fact sheet, which explains each factor in more detail.