Ask the editor: What about those roundabouts?

The Bird Rock Avenue roundabout was nearing completion in mid-2008. Photo: Dave Schwab
The Bird Rock Avenue roundabout was nearing completion in mid-2008. Photo: Dave Schwab

Question

: In Europe, drivers entering a traffic circle yield to cars already in the circle, but then enter the circle in turn. That is, if a driver is waiting to enter the circle when another car approaches the circle, the approaching car is obligated to slow down to give precedence to the waiting car. For the Bird Rock traffic circles, however, it seems to be the assumption that anyone approaching on La Jolla Blvd has the right-of-way over anyone waiting on any of the other entry streets. Is the law different in California, or is this just a local La Jolla folkway?

Answer

: What’s good for Europe is good for America. What you describe is the law — not to mention common courtesy. Alas, drivers on the boulevard usually have blinders on as they approach and drive through the roundabouts. Couple that with those on the side streets who are hesitant and unwilling (or unable) to show a bit of aggressiveness to insert themselves into the stream and you have the situation that you describe.

California law does require signaling which virtually no one does.

The only car with the right of the way is the one in the roundabout and if they are signaling you know where they are going.

Keep those questions coming by e-mailing editor Kathy Day at kday@lajollalight.com

   
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