Could “Dutch Roundabouts” Help Prevent Bike Accidents In DC?

By Peter DePaolis

Experienced Bike Accident Attorneys Defending Clients in Washington D.C.,

wrecked bicycle In November, the government in Cambridge, England approved the conversion of a dangerous intersection into a “Dutch roundabout” to prevent bike accidents. If it proves successful, could it be the answer to help improve cyclist safety in Washington, D.C.?

What’s a “Dutch Roundabout”?

There are different types of Dutch-style roundabouts:

  • Turbo Roundabout – One type is the turbo roundabout. This type of roundabout has several lanes and is spiral-shaped. As its name suggests, turbo roundabouts are designed for higher speed traffic and do not allow lane changes within the roundabout. This enables smoother traffic flow for motorists, but is ultimately unsafe for cyclists.
  • Ordinary Roundabout – Regular Dutch-style roundabouts only have one lane for motorists and are intentionally kept small to decrease traffic speeds inside the roundabout. Cyclists do not have priority in this type of roundabout. There are bicycle lanes outside the border of the roundabout. The cycling lanes include crossings at the entrances and exits that allow bike riders to cross one at a time.
  • Cyclist-Priority Roundabout – This is similar to the ordinary roundabout. It has one lane for motorists and is small to keep speeds low. However, its border is the cycling lane. There is a car-length space between the roundabout’s motorist lane and the bicycle lane. This area enables vehicles entering or exiting an area to wait for cyclists to pass without blocking motor vehicle traffic.

The ordinary roundabout with cyclist-priority is the design the Cambridge government is planning to use. There have been 14 collisions between bicycles and automobiles at the intersection where the roundabout will be installed. Officials believe that the change will help prevent bike accidents in the area in the future. Here in DC we have had our issues with pedestrian and cyclist safety. If the Dutch-style roundabout proves successful in Cambridge, it might be worth exploring further in our city.

At Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P., our Washington, D.C. bicycle accident lawyers have been successfully fighting to defend the rights of bike accident injury victims for years. Contact our law firm if you’ve been injured in a bike accident due to someone else’s negligence. 

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.