Drivers weigh in after taking the Riverside Roundabout for a spin

CYPRESS PARK — It’s been about two months since the Riverside Roundabout — the city’s first major traffic circle — was officially dedicated.  How are motorists dealing with driving around in circles?  It seems to be going well, say traffic engineers. But drivers still need to slow down, and city officials are taking steps to make sure things go smoothly during the upcoming season opener at nearby Dodger Stadium.

“Using a multi -lane roundabout is a learning curve,” said traffic engineer Bearj Sarkis with the L.A. Department of Transportation. He said officials would like to see motorists slow down more as they approach the 100-foot wide circle at the junction of Figueroa Street, Riverside Drive and San Fernando Road.  Motorists could also be doing a  better job yielding for pedestrians at the marked cross walks and for the vehicles in the circle, which have the right of way.

But, overall, “it seems the roundabout is functioning well and as designed,” Sarkis said in an email. “We also are pleased to see cyclists and pedestrians are using the roundabout and the marked crosswalks with the flashing beacons on the 4 approaches.”

More signs advising motorists to slow down and yield at the crosswalks have been installed, and there have been meetings with the LAPD ” in an attempt to improve traffic behavior through signage and enforcement,” Sarkis said.

A big test will come when heavy traffic is expected for the April 3 season opener at nearby Dodger Stadium.  Sarkis said flyers — in English and Spanish —  on how to use a multi lane roundabout are expected to be ready for distribution before the game.

The Eastsider also asked its Facebook readers to weigh in on the traffic circle. The response was mixed, with many expressing approval but also concern. One reader posted a photo of a crash. Here’s a sample of the comments:

  • “The first time was easy because traffic was light. When traffic is heavy it gets a little tricky” — Jeny N. Yan-Araujo
  • “I drove around it fine but the a-hole in the huge pick up truck crossed from the middle lane to exit to the right, right in front of me.. good thing I know how to slam on the brakes!” — Kelly Lopez
  • “Love it. Faster and safer than at intersection. People just need to learn how to use them. Like how people should learn to use their turn signal and yield the right a way” — Chi Fan
  • “The Entrance to “Mr. Toads Wild Ride.” I have nearly collided twice and there’s always confusion as to what’s going on…hate it. Need a STOP sign or two” — Olivia Polanco
  • “Being English quite easy really just use your indicator so people know where [you’re] going” — Marcus Baird

More roundabouts are planned for the Eastside. The city has already finished designing a second, multi-lane roundabout at the intersection of Cesar Chavez, Indiana and Lorena streets in Boyle Heights.

Posted by Huarachera Caprichosa on Monday, March 20, 2017

Cypress Park Roundabout

Have you driven through the Cypress Park roundabout? It has been more than a month since the traffic circle opened at the junction of Riverside Drive, San Fernando Road and Avenue 19. The Eastside wants to find out what drivers as well as pedestrians and cyclists think of it. We will also be checking in with city transportation folks to find out how it’s performed.

Posted by The Eastsider LA on Thursday, March 16, 2017


The Eastsider’s Daily email digest includes all new content published on The Eastsider during the last 24 hours. Expect the digest to land in your in email in box around 7 p.m. It’s free to sign up!

Once you submit your information, please check your email box to confirm your subscription.


  1. “Drivers weigh in…” Why were only driver surveyed? Other people use this intersection too. The biggest emprovement for this intersection isn’t that it’s round, but that there are safety accommodations for pedestrians and cyclists that use the intersection daily.

  2. The errors that I noticed are a couple of drivers, who were trying to enter the roundabout, not yielding to traffic already in the roundabout; and, drivers in the two-lane roundabout changing from one lane to another without looking. Changing lanes while circling, in traffic, can be hard.

    Pity on the poor pedestrians crossing right at the mouth of the roundabout exit!

  3. The radius and distance between outlets is too small for 2 lanes and bad visibility for cars coming off the ramp going into it. But the art!

  4. Why two lanes? For a city with very few of these how did we end up with the advanced model? Add to it TONS of signs, which are almost blocking visibility as well as the huge gray sculptures. Shouldn’t we see through the roundabout to see oncoming traffic?

    Also, I’m surprised that it’s on a slope. Does everyone have equal visibility? I feel like when your coming down off the bridge you run the risk of going way too fast and you don’t see the roundabout coming if you are unfamiliar.

    Good luck out there 🙂

  5. I only go that way when the 110 to HLP is jammed. For the most part drivers have figured it out but not sure how much it improved the area. I hate roundabouts. Keep roundabouts out of this country. Make America roundabout free again.
    (Don’t get triggered)

  6. Funny how some drivers interpret the Yield signs as a optional rather than commands. Seems to me those drivers entering from the sidelines have the burden of waiting for the oncoming traffic to get through the roundabout before just jumping right in – particularly considering how fast that traffic is. I’ve been tempted to make a couple of 160 degree circles a few times just to see how dizzy I get.

  7. This is a death trap. No one knows how to use it. This was a VERY, VERY, VERY bad idea. Just wait until someone gets killed. Change the design now. Put in stop signs instead like it used to have. Don’t wait for someone to die.

    • Maybe you don’t know how to use it and should stay off the road. Traffic circles are all over Europe. But then again Europeans are smarter than most of the folks in this area

  8. I work graveyard shift . I see cars doing a full 360 2 or 3 times.. These thugs probaly get some kind of adrenaline rush doing it. not that I’ve ever done it. because I have absolutely never not even almost done this myself ……

  9. Look kids, Parliment, Big Ben.

  10. So interesting to read the different negative and positive opinions about the roundabout. The city has few traffic circles mainly in residential areas designed as a traffic calming measure but this is the first modern 2 lane roundabout in the city. It might surprise many readers to know that USA was the second country in the world after France to design and build a traffic circle. In 1905 American Architect William Eno designed and built Columbus Circle, New York City that is in use until this day. Through out 20s, 30s and 40’s hundreds of traffic circles were built in the USA mainly on the east cost before traffic signals took over. The main objective these days is safety and to reduce or even eliminate traffic fatalities. Speed kills and one of the main feature in roundabouts that they are designed for optimum speed of 25 mph. Research and studies have shown that roundabout reduces fatalities by 90%, and major injuries by 75%. It basically eliminates the high injury type of accidents, the head on collision, right angle and T-bone accidents providing the yield controls are obeyed. For this reason it is normally stated for a high impact vehicle/vehicle accidents at any normal intersection you need to call the paramedics but you only need a body shop for accidents in roundabouts, mostly side swipe type accidents. I hope more people will use it and find it fun to drive, although I don’t advise people to go round and round and use it as a ride.

    Bearj Sarkis

  11. The accidents were probably caused by well respected citizens of the community .they just were not paying attention to the road. Instead they were galvanized to richard simmons , neil diamond , barry manilow ,and Roney Milsap face sculptures causing accident.

  12. From my experience, no one is paying attention to the yield signs at all and people driving pretty fast. I almost got plowed into a kid driving super fast we were already in the circle… the kid decided he needed to get in too and make a sudden right from the far left lane. Luckily we didn’t collide but it was close. With honking and giving each the bird. The kid decides to follow me and making threatening gestures at me. I tried to wave him off and told him to move on. Not good enough he starts reaching into his glove compartment. I got behind him took a picture of his car and license plate just in case. He ended turning right and super pissed he couldn’t act out. This young kid doesn’t know how to control his anger and immediately want a confrontation. We need more signs and speed limits put up. I hate that circle thing especially if there are no street lights.

  13. It sucks!

  14. This is the worst traffic circle. The people entering from Figueroa NEVER yield. I have been nearly t-boned twice this year already and it is only January. You need stop signs at each entrance because people are too selfish, uncooperative, and careless to slow down before entering the circle. If you are reading this please yield and wait until your portion of the circle is clear.

  15. This circle is ridiculous! How can you have two lanes crisscrossing? The number one lane (the inside lane) can either go straight or turn right. The number two lane (the outside lane) can either go straight or turn right. What happens when the car in the number one lane wants to turn right, but the car in the number one lane wants to go straight? Can you say traffic accident?

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *