At the latest NCM meeting the topic of roundabouts attracted a great deal of lively and informed discussion. The above photo shows the large roundabout in Wickham at Cowper St, with its quite expensive (so we were informed at the meeting) bike markings. It looks quite good in terms of providing a safe place for cyclists to ride, but appearances can be deceptive. The solid green areas designate where cyclists can ride, hopefully with safety, and the honeycombed area is where they need to be aware that they do not have right of way while alerting drivers that riders may be on the roundabout. As this is a roundabout where traffic speeds are high and there are two lanes of traffic, it would be difficult for all but the most experienced and fit vehicular cyclists to navigate safely.
This one is outside the Crowne Plaza on Wharf Road, where there is only one lane of traffic and much slower traffic. The cyclists share the space with cars and the sharrows are there to let everyone know that. This solution also costs substantially less than the green lanes in the first photo.
This one is near Marketown, the expensive green lane that feels quite safe to ride in as it appears to clearly designate a place for cyclists to ride. However, due to the small diameter of the roundabout and the fact that it is only a three way roundabout, cars which enter from two of the arms, then exit in the direction of the lane shown, will encroach into the green lane area, possibly side-swiping any cyclists there! And the bike lane is not very wide as you can see from the second photo.
This one is on Dumaresq Street and Beaumont Street and, as you can see, the roadway narrows as it approaches the intersection,greatly diminishing the area for cyclists to ride, and taking away the possibility of bypassing the roundabout altogether, which would be the safest option for those turning left.
It was agreed at the meeting that roundabouts are not cycle friendly and that traffic lights or stop signs or giveway signs are preferable. Every roundabout needs to be treated differently, depending on its nature and surroundings. Do you know of any roundabout treatments that are cycle friendly?