Wenatchee’s Taj Mahal of traffic circles 

I have a strange relationship with traffic circles. On a daily basis I drive through at least two traffic circles two times a day, sometimes more. I’m not a fan of the traffic circle but I am starting to learn how to use them. It’s getting easier to get around them now as long as I pay attention to everyone else using them. 

Some folks just don’t quite have it down yet. Which way to yield, do you signal, that sort of thing. 

aerial view of roundabout

The Washington State Department of Transportation says, “Studies by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have found that roundabouts can increase traffic capacity by 30 to 50 percent compared to traditional intersections.” 

“A main feature of the modern roundabout is a raised central island. The circular shape is designed to control the direction of traffic and reduce speeds to 15 to 20 mph. It also reduces the likelihood of T-bone (right angle) or head-on collisions.” 

Some of the traffic circles are “neighborhood” traffic circles like the one in E. Wenatchee next to Safeway.  

Others are the more modern round-a-bouts like the one near Quincy on White Trail Road and the one I drive through twice a day at 2/97 and easy street.  

photo by Dave Keefer
photo by Dave Keefer

This is like the “Taj Mahal” of traffic circles in Wenatchee. The first time I saw the art in the center of the circle was at 3:45 in the morning and I was not sure what I was seeing. It was a little distracting, but I got through ok. Now, I kind of like it. I’m looking forward to seeing it in the winter with a foot of snow on it. Can we put Christmas lights on it? 

Sign for Traffic Roundabout Intersection

According to The Washington State Department of Transportation,
“There are a few key things to remember about driving through roundabouts: 

  • Yield to drivers in already in the roundabout (on the circulating roadway) 
  • Stay in your lane; do not change lanes 
  • Do not stop in the roundabout 
  • Avoid driving next to oversize vehicles” 

Just be careful, the more you use them the easier it will get.  

Drive safe, enjoy the ride. 


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