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December 09, 2022, 01:58:14 AM

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check out this roundabout

Started by Seaman, November 02, 2017, 02:13:45 PM

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At first, I just wanted to show you a specific interesting roundabout. But then I realized, those roundish objects come in a tremendous variety and it might be fun to see what's out there. If you know of a somewhat special (or simply beautiful) roundabout, please feel invited to share it with us here.

To start off: this thing is placed outside of Tesla's gigafactory in Nevada:


I have to post something here, can't just leave this awesome topic inactive ...

This squid-shaped roundabout is from Italy, between Udine and Palmanova. It has 5 exits, mind the small private one:


It's in Hungary near to Budapest in a little town called Gyömrő.

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Behold the glory of Melbourne's notorious "Roundabout of Death"! It was recently announced that the intersection is going to be redesigned and upgraded, but in the meantime, it remains perhaps the most confusion- and panic-inducing roundabout in my home town :)


Nice topic! I'll contribute with the most confusing one from my city :)

This is Korsvägen (literally "the crossroad"), the southern entrance to my home town. It is probably the most chaotic of all public places in the city with a roundabout-ish construction circling one of the biggest public transport hubs in the city with 6 tram lines, at least two major local bus lines and a large number of lesser ones, four of the most heavily used regional bus lines, the main point of boarding for the airport bus and in a few years' time an underground stop for all south-bound commuter trains. Directly adjacent to Korsvägen are the humanistic faculty of the university, the main congress hall in the city, two of the main museums in the city and Sweden's most popular amusement park.

Under various names this place has been important since the late 18th century. When the city outside the old city walls was design under the influence of the Haussmannian boulevards, Korsvägen became the epicentre. The remnants of that plan can be seen in the two boulevards radiating diagonally left and upwards (Södra Vägen, the southern road) leading to the site formerly occupied by Kungsporten (the King's gate), and straight upwards (Skånegatan, Scania street). The roundabout design dates back to the 1950s.
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Interesting one in my town, two overpasses combined as one roundabout



That same concept, up to eleven:

La Place d'Europe, a viaduct 6-way roundabout just behind Saint Lazàre Station in Paris.

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but it is to meet the social needs of man and the development of the society"

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La Antorcha de la Amistad, the "Torch of Friendship" in San Antonio, Texas.  The sculpture by artist Sebastián was a gift from Mexico to San Antonio to commemorate the deep historical and cultural ties between the city and its former mother country.  It marks one of the major urban entrances leading both to Alamo Plaza and down to the Riverwalk.

The site is a quirky downtown triangle created by a major one-way street as well as two other one-way streets that then converge into a major two-way street, making three signaled intersections surrounding the tiny one-way roundabout.  Flow is only counter-clockwise, and only the inner lane of the two-lane roundabout is unsignaled, as the outer lane will spin you out into one of the three signaled intersections.  There are also two bridges involved along with a river T-intersection one level below, which can be reached by Riverwalk staircases and a public elevator.  As this is a convenient tourist waypoint, buses and and trolleys can spin off the little roundabout into their own drop-off and pick-up lane at the upper elevator landing.  Honestly, the twisting triangular roadway, pedestrian island slivers, and the mass of signaled intersections do not really aid in appreciating the sculpture or its flowerbed circle.

(Photo by Bill Cobb)

(Photo by procrast8 on Flickr)

Go, Bus, Go!  You Can Do It!

It's not hard to find on our brown skyline:  from atop the Tower of the Americas, just look for the red...

(Photo by Rebecca Darling on

(Photo by Bob Howen)

It can have its picturesque moments and is an important downtown landmark.  As a current redevelopment project is to covert the neaby Alamo Plaza and parts of Alamo Street leading from the sculpture into a solely pedestrian plaza, there are thoughts to even convert this roundabout area into a pedestrian-reoriented landmark entry plaza to lead into Alamo Plaza.  That would be a nightmare for downtown traffic planners.  If it were up to me, I would not only do it, I would also restore the ornament and corner cupolas of the red brick and white-trimmed Dullnig Building that is often used as a backdrop for the sculpture.

I think they would pair really well. Restore the Dullnig Building Now!  Interestingly, we can see in those old postcards that the site of the roundabout and Torch was formerly a built-up city block.  These buildings were relocated or demolished as the streets were widened over time.  Street widening is also what led to the loss of the Dullnig Building's corner cupolas.

Facing opposite to the Dullnig Building façade side of the roundabout and catty-corner to the traffic triangle is another corner plaza in development that will be a gateway into the new downtown Hemisfair Civic Park, and we can potentially link together all the corner-touching plazas into a linear urban experience connecting the urban park and Tower of the Americas to the Alamo grounds.  Mexican architectural firm Gomez Vazquez International released a visionary image for a gateway W Hotel connecting the reorganized HemisFair Civic Park to the Torch of Friendship.

(Image by Gomez Vazquez International)

Ooooh! Aaaah!  It would all be so wildly sexy, especially when opposite the fancy cupola domes.  City leaders quickly denounced the image and instead put forward something much more mindlessly conventional.  Phooey!

Hehehe, it's really such a dinky and underused roundabout, but it can urbanistically be so much more!  Granted, the roundabout in my plans would be gone and several of the main downtown through-roads would be rendered partially unnavigable, but we would have such a beautiful city ennobling our gifted sculpture.


I am not sure why they built it or wether it's actually more cappable, but strange it is! This weird thing in Atlantic City, NJ:


Right, here is a similar pointless roundabouts here in Northern Virginia where the main road rather goes straight through which in turn created two traffic lights instead of one, pointless and defeats the purpose and benefit as a true roundabout.


This is the 'Oststadtkreisel' (Eastern City Roundabout) in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Sometimes named as the most dangerous roundabout in Germany.

Even if some satnavs software tells so and even if it's name suggests it and even on first look it seems to be so ...

... it's no roundabout. It's a round shaped crossing that makes right of way a challenge here.

So if looking for 'roundish things' it's on topic, if looking for roundabouts it's 'off topic'.


A new roundabout opened earlier this month here in San Antonio:

(Photo by Scott Ball on The Rivard Report)

It replaces a completely unwieldy downtown intersection...

...with a whirligig:

"Downtown Roundabout Set to Open Monday Near Central Library" - The Rivard Report

Curiously, the article ended on this paragraph:

Once construction on the project has finished, Dorsey said a public art piece will be added to the middle of the roundabout.  Discussions continue on what shape that project will take, Dorsey said, but one thing is certain:  "It's not a fountain."

I did not understand the ironic importance of it not being a fountain.  Was a public fountain too stereotypical of a roundabout ?  Would it be inappropriate for a region prone to drought?  Is it too high maintenance as a water feature with additional liabilities for health safety?

Turns out San Antonio has some experience with water fountains in the Olmos Park roundabout.  Olmos Park is an inner suburban enclave that in 2008 decided to beautify its decade-old roundabout at Olmos Circle with a grand Spanish-style fountain.  It was also hoped that the heavy travertine landmark would deter drivers from just driving over and through the roundabout center.  $100,000 in donations was raised by the community for the elegant Olmos Park Fountain, a new symbol of the city at the center of its business district.

(Photo by Cobaltski on Flickr.)

It didn't work...drivers still tried to go straight through.  Over the next four years, the fountain would be hit over 25 times by speeding and drunk drivers barreling down McCullough Avenue.  One incident dubbed the "St. Valentines Day Massacre" saw a hurtling drunk driver hit a traffic island, sending his vehicle airborne into the fountain, and then further crashing and flipping over into a corner business.  The Olmos Park city government finally gave up continuously repairing the fountain, and, in 2012, the fountain was unceremoniously demolished.

(Photo by Lisa Kranz for The San Antonio Express-News.)

"What a roundabout way to lose a landmark" - San Antonio Express-News

An embarrassing waste in a troublesome traffic circle.  Before the roundabout, it was a 5-way intersection with signal lights, but that created a traffic bottleneck and there were still speeding and drunk drivers crashing through, bringing fatalities.  At least the fountain crashes didn't lead to any deaths, though the airborne drunkard was seriously injured.

Two years before the fountain was dismantled, it was thought to redevelop the circle and surround commercial center into a plaza:

Sigh...thanks to a few bad apples, we can't have good things.  The roundabout now has at its center a small mound covered with native shrubs.

I have an hunch regarding the Olmos Park Fountain's failing.  Although it was protected by large block-like bollards on its approaches, the actual circle up to the fountain is flat...

(Photo by Terry Johnson on Texas Escapes.)

...whereas the replacement shrubbery is on a shallow mound with obstructed sightlines.  The raised curvature of the mounds may actually deflect wayward drivers jumping the circle's curb and also buffer the impact should drivers smash past the bollards and into the center.  Additionally, the fountain was designed with a low profile so as not to obstruct sightlines of some of the Spanish-styled surrounding buildings, but that may have also lowered its registered visibility to approaching intoxicated drivers.  It may also be that the initial reason for installing the fountain--to stop drunk and speeding drivers from barreling over the roundabout--was itself futile.

Lastly, this fountain was not aligned in line-of-sight of the main roads, which actually change elevation and veer at the last moment into the curvature of the roundabout.  Speeders see and think that they have a straight run until its too late:

Ah well, not too far away is another local landmark roundabout, the Blanco Roundabout and its 28-foot obelisk, "The Beacon," fashioned by sculptor Ángel Rodríguez-Díaz in 2008 for the inner suburb of Beacon Hill:

Patterned with Art Deco motifs referencing the architecture of the neighborhood, the hollow obelisk is actually a giant steel luminaria, lit at night into a towering patterned lantern:

(Photo by Jack Morgan on Texas Public Radio.)

Interestingly, while the obelisk was erect in the same year as the Olmos Park Fountain, it had only been hit by drivers twice in the same time period as the fountain's 25 hits. The base of the obelisk reportedly suffered only cosmetic damage.  It's on a mound, has direct line-of-sight when seen from the road, and also has a narrower profile.

Blanco Road is an old main that leads from San Antonio out the neighboring city and county of Blanco to our far north, but I was curious why this portion of the road got a roundabout, as there are other major crossing roads nearby that are merely large intersections with signals, so I peeked on Google Earth:

Ah ha, this residential crossing road is one of few in the grid that also crosses past the highway to the west as well as a rail line to the east, making it one of the connecting entries into and out of Beacon Hill.  Interestingly, with its traffic splitting islands pointing to the cardinal directions, the obelisk is also a giant sundial.

Hopefully, these will inspire our own SimCity roundabouts.


Wow, thx again for the great work and not just showing off the roundabouts, but also bringing some background to it. It sure is an inspiration!


I've always been fascinated with roundabouts.