New Yorkers from across the state have come together to hate the same thing... finally, something we can agree on.

Driving in the Empire State has always felt like a roll of the dice. From difficult roads to scary tunnels to nowhere, there's plenty to make even the most experienced commuter grip their steering wheel a little tighter. One obstacle in particular, however, is uniting the whole state in a feeling of frustration.

It seems that traffic circles continue to confound New York state drivers
It seems that traffic circles continue to confound New York state drivers (ollo via Canva)

Traffic Circles Added in New York State

The target of all the fury is none other than the expanding number of roundabouts (otherwise known as traffic circles). The uproar might be laughable to our neighbors in New England who have been using this style of traffic control for centuries, but for New Yorkers, this territory is new enough that the public continually needs to be educated.

Read More: An Exclusive Sneak-Peak At East Fishkill's First Traffic Circle 

Why Can't New York Drivers Correctly Navigate Traffic Circles?

"Due to a large number of traffic complaints [we] would like to remind drivers how to safely navigate traffic roundabouts", came a recent Facebook post from the Ithaca Police Department in Ithaca, NY. The accompanying graphic (below) attempted to show the correct way to enter and exit the novel roadway that one commenter lamented "caused nothing but road rage". There has been similar outreach in the Hudson Valley.

New Traffic Circles in Fishkill, NY

2022 saw a boom in traffic circle construction in the Hudson Valley, with Fishkill, NY in particular seeing several new additions. When they were unveiled, however, local drivers seemed at a loss on how to correctly operate their vehicle through the brand new shape. It even led to a new question: are traffic circles actually a safer alternative?

Read More: New Information Released on How Safe Roundabouts are in New York

Do Traffic Circles Make New York State Roads Safer?

In a recent study by the state of New York, research showed that on average, traffic circles are safer for both cars and people alike (below), with a 75% decrease in vehicle conflicts and a 66% decrease in pedestrian conflicts. .

To be fair, it seems that for every person complaining about traffic circle difficulty, there are just as many drivers lamenting the inability of their cohorts to understand the relatively simple configuration. With research backing up the safety of roundabouts, continued education might be the solution to keep traffic moving smoothly.

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Gallery Credit: Matt Ryan

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