As you know, the Circle has undergone drastic changes including reduction in the number of lanes and where people yield. This discussion is not about the lane reductions and the potential traffic jams that will ensue in a post pandemic world. We have plenty of time to beat that horse after COVID-19. Right now, we want to bring up the danger posed by drivers who do not stop or yield when entering the Circle.
Have you had any close calls while driving on the Circle? Specifically, have you noticed that cars entering from Hialeah don’t do a good job about yielding to drivers already on the Circle? Of course, thousands of drivers entered from Hialeah to Miami Springs and did not have to yield to traffic already on the Circle. It’s easy to say that the driver’s have not gotten used to slowing down and yielding to traffic on the Circle. I can personally attest that cars continue to drive onto the Circle without yielding to the traffic that’s on the Circle.
Here’s how I see it:
- Cars are routinely failing to yield when entering from Hialeah onto the Circle
- Despite Yield signs at the other intersections, only the entry from Hialeah seems to be the problem.
- This has happened to me and others regardless of the type of vehicle I’m in.
So what makes the entry from Hialeah different than the other intersections?
The big factor we noticed is that the yield sign on the right lane is placed a dozen feet AFTER the point where cars are supposed to stop and yield to traffic already on the Circle. Normally, yield and stop signs are placed BEFORE the stopping point. In other words, for drivers unfamiliar with our Circle, they don’t even see the yield sign until they are ALREADY ON THE CIRCLE.
Below is a perfect example of a vehicle placed before the YIELD sign on the right, but with a quarter of the vehicle already on the Circle. That’s very dangerous for drivers on the Circle and drivers who attempt to yield before the physical yield sign.
So what is the proper placement for a YIELD sign? Is it okay for a YIELD sign to be dozens of feet past the stopping point? Below is a great example of a 2 lane road entering a roundabout. As you can see below, the YIELD sign is placed adjacent to the stopping point…Not a dozen feet past the stopping point. NOTE: This example comes from the official Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) created by the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.
I’m sure some people will be quick to point out that the word YIELD is placed in huge letters before the Circle. That’s good, but only effective when the road is clear. You can’t see the sign ahead on the ground when a vehicle is covering it. That’s why we rely the physical road signs.
Furthermore, you’ll notice we don’t have YIELD painted on the road on the entrance from Curtiss Parkway onto the Circle. However, you will notice the physical YIELD sign is properly placed a dozen feet BEFORE the stopping point.
The same thing goes for the left lane of northbound Curtiss Parkway. No YIELD painted on the road, but a proper YIELD sign BEFORE the stopping point.
Ditto for the YIELD sign coming from South Royal Poinciana Boulevard onto the Circle. You can see how the YIELD sign is placed BEFORE the stopping point. Not after the stopping point.
Below is another photo of the YIELD sign when entering from Hialeah. If you stop at that sign, you’re already on the Circle. It’s too late to YIELD once you’re already on the Circle.
SOLUTION 1: MOVE THE YIELD SIGN CLOSER
The obvious solution is to bring the YIELD sign closer to the stopping point. We realize this is complicated by the parking lane. So what. It’s more important to have a properly placed yield sign adjacent to the stopping point instead of a YIELD sign that literally puts the driver on the Circle.
SOLUTION 2: OLD WAY
By the old way, we mean remove the YIELD signs for traffic coming from Hialeah, the way it used to be. This will prevent the game of chicken that happens today. Furthermore, if the YIELD is moved back to the north side of the Circle, the County can easily add a much needed cross walk that would allow access to the Circle from the shopping / dining areas like Starbucks and Burritovile.
Have you seen cars fail to YIELD coming in from Hialeah? Have you had any personal close calls? Share your experience in the comments below or on social media.
What solution do you prefer? Have a better solution? Please share your thoughts.