BEND, OR -- Two new dual-lane roundabouts on Highway 20 fully open Monday on the north end of Bend; one at Cooley Road and the other at Robal Lane. It’s a big milestone for the Bend North Corridor Project, but could be a big headache for commuters not used to them.
ODOT’s Cody Franz says there are a few critical things drivers need to remember, "As you’re approaching that roundabout, slow down and choose the correct lane. Follow any signs we may have, or pavement markings." He tells KBND News, "You need to yield to the traffic in the roundabout and enter when you have an appropriate gap. We always remind folks: don’t assume that you know what someone else is going to do, so take your time and be cautious, and enter only when there’s an appropriate gap." And, "It is not legal for you to do that and especially to pass large freight vehicles or buses, or things of that nature." Finally, practice goot roundabout etiquette "Let everyone know what your plan is and when you’re planning to exit that roundabout, so always signal before you leave. And when you’re in the roundabout, don’t stop, and you can never pass vehicles in a roundabout. It is not legal for you to do that and especially to pass large freight vehicles or buses, or things of that nature."
According to the Federal Highway Administration, roundabouts result in 35% fewer crashes and 90% fewer fatalities than a traditional intersection.
Also coming soon, as part of the North Corridor project, a new Cascades East Transit stop near Target and a multi-use path stretching from North Star Elementary to Cascade Village Shopping Center. And, work is underway on the Highway 97 side of the project. That’s expected to have bigger traffic impacts in early 2024.