Roundabout confusion at McNeese Street and Corbina Road - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Roundabout confusion at McNeese Street and Corbina Road

Southwest Louisiana is seeing more and more traffic circles - known as roundabouts. Yet some drivers still don't get the hang of it. 

One roundabout has been hit from every direction:

The roundabout at McNeese Street and Corbina Road is at the center of the Morganfield traditional neighborhood community. President Chad Thielen said roundabouts are good for traffic flow and safety.

"Intersections are much more dangerous. You have side impact collisions, so roundabouts, safety-wise, are tremendous because you just don't have those T-bone crashes," said Thielen

Yet some people apparently don't know yet what to do at a roundabout. Thielen said the roundabouts they've adopted have been hit from all sides - one guy on his way to work at 7:20 a.m.

"Wasn't paying any attention, hit this at 40 mph, came over those curbs there, ran through this set of fencing, came across and then went all the way over and destroyed the curb over - there white's already been repaired.  He ran over both of these, he came over right here, then he went over and went through that section and went all the way across the street and smashed the curb," said Thielen.

Thielen said the landscaping alone has cost $150,000. He said the City of Lake Charles has put down rumble strips, but that more needs to be done.

"The city is exploring whether they need to put some flashing lights or other kinds of signage to get people to slow down when they approach the roundabout," said Thielen.

So, if you don't know what to do at a roundabout, first remember who has the right of way.

"Whoever's in the circle has the right of way. So you approach it; there are yield signs at every entrance into the circle and if there's somebody coming in the circle; you yield to them but these incidents are happening because people are just missing it altogether," he said."

And while those entering must yield, they're not supposed to stop.

"There's really no trick; you just blend in with the flow of traffic and exit when you want to exit, so it's not complicated," said Thielen.

Clearly, roundabouts are here to stay and more are coming. City officials said since the rumble strips were put down, no traffic incidents have been reported.

For more information on safely using roundabouts watch this video.

Copyright 2017 KPLC All rights reserved

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