Roundabout: 'It really is not that difficult'

Roundabout: 'It really is not that difficult' »Play Video

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Traffic troubles have Springfield police paying special attention to the Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway roundabout. Look for increased patrols this week as officers scope out drivers not yielding and making illegal lane changes.

Donna Maupin is very familiar with the ominous circle in Springfield.

"I walk almost 2 and a half miles to work everyday and that's the most unsafe, scariest area that I walk through," said Maupin.

Police said they've received numerous complaints, like Maupin's, about dangerous drivers.

"They come through it, they're not sure what they're supposed to do, so there might be a little bit of a fear factor that's involved," said Sgt. Richard Jones, Springfield Police Department.

For two days KVAL News cameras captured some of the bad behavior on this stretch. One driver didn't stop for the cyclist clearly halfway through the crosswalk.This illegal move could come with a $375 fine.

Another driver of a grey van started off in the right lane, but changed to the left lane and cut off a blue pickup truck: another costly fine worth $140.

The biggest price to pay may come from the body shop. Whether it was an illegal lane change or not yielding, the end result for two drivers Tuesday afternoon: a mangled wreck.

"You kind of need a heightened sense of awareness when you get into this thing, especially the first few times until you get used to how it works," said Jones.

  • When using the roundabout, it's important to yield to cars driving thru it and exiting it.
     
  • One should only enter if there's enough space to safely maneuver into the roundabout.
     
  • The MLK Parkway roundabout has two lanes. The driver has to choose either the left or right lane to enter. Base that choice on the desired exit. You can not change lanes while inside the roundabout.

"It really is not that difficult once you've been through it," said Jones.

While using the crosswalks, look in the direction of oncoming traffic and find a gap, then cross. Pedestrians have the right of way, but at the same time, forcing cars to suddenly stop can be dangerous.

Jones said drivers pulled over this week at the roundabout will most likely be told what was done wrong and how to correct it. Police will also be handing out informational flyers on how to use the roundabout. If a driver is cited, fines will be higher than normal because the roundabout falls in the EmX construction zone.