Mint Hill

Navigating a Roundabout

Roundabouts are quickly becoming part of Mint Hill's roadway network. By mid-2018, we will have two relatively large roundabouts on two separate thoroughfares in town. Over the past decade, roundabouts have become relatively common in many places throughout the United States, especially in North Carolina. Their proven successes have made them an effective and reliable tool in the roadway design toolbox. While engineers and contractors have fine-tuned the design and construction of them, there is one last element that is critical to the success of a roundabout: the drivers!

The main points to remember when driving through a roundabout are:

1.   SLOW DOWN and PAY ATTENTION! This may sound redundant, but we can all use this sort of reminder at times, especially when driving through features we're not familiar with. Use the roundabout at a speed no greater than 20 MPH.

2.   At multi-lane roundabouts (which both of our roundabouts either are currently, or will be eventually), choose your lane based on your desired direction of travel:

    • If you're making a right turn, use the right-hand lane.
    • If you're traveling straight through, making a left turn, or making a U-turn, use the left-hand lane.
    • For single-lane roundabouts, the single lane is used for all movements (turns and straight travel).

3.   Watch for and yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.

4.   As you approach the edge of the roundabout, look left and yield to all vehicles already in the roundabout. If there are no vehicles in the roundabout or if there is enough room for you to safely enter, there is no need to stop.

5.   Once you've entered the roundabout, do not change lanes and don't try to pass other vehicles. If you've entered in the wrong lane, it is safest to exit the roundabout in your current lane, turn around, and come back through the roundabout in the appropriate lane.

6.   Give large vehicles (such as buses, vehicles with trailers, construction vehicles, etc.) plenty of room. These types of vehicles will typically use the left lane to utilize the center "truck apron." This is the concrete inner edge of the roundabout, and it is intended for large vehicles to allow their rear wheels more room to make the turn.

7.   When an emergency vehicle approaches the roundabout with its lights on, proceed through the roundabout, exit at your intended direction, then pull over on the straight roadway to allow them to pass. DON'T stop inside of the roundabout, and DON'T stop at the entrance to the roundabout (which could block the emergency vehicle's entrance to the roundabout).

This video presents the guidelines above with the added benefit of seeing them in action in a real roundabout.

 

Navigating Mint Hill's Roundabouts

To help drivers understand the directions of travel through the two roundabouts in Mint Hill, the Town has prepared the following diagrams. Each one is specific to a particular direction of travel. Click the image for a larger view of each diagram. The image will open as a PDF in a new window. Close that window to return to this page.

NC51 (Matthews-Mint Hill Road) and Idlewild Road

Heading SOUTHBOUND on NC51

(toward Matthews)

Heading NORTHBOUND on NC51

(toward Mint Hill)

Heading EASTBOUND on Idlewild Road

(toward I-485)

Heading WESTBOUND on Idlewild Road

(toward Charlotte)

Lawyers Road and Bain School Road

Note: this roundabout is not yet constructed. It is anticipated to begin construction in late summer/early fall 2017.

Heading NORTHBOUND on Lawyers Road

(toward Mint Hill)

Heading SOUTHBOUND on Lawyers Road

(toward I-485)

Heading from Bain School Road

(toward Lawyers Road)