So Why Did Highlands build a Traffic Circle? Or is a Roundabout?


Highlands Roundabut
Road sign before a roundabout


As any local Highlands resident might have noticed by the Bridge, there is a now a circular island on Bay Ave to navigate driving under the bridge.

There are two blatant questions on this: 1) WHY? and 2) Is it a “Traffic circle” or a roundabout?

Let’s attack #2 first: A traffic circle (or rotary) is a type of circular intersection in which traffic must travel in one direction around a central island. Traffic circles should not be confused with roundabouts, in which entering traffic must always yield to traffic already in the circle, and generally operate at much lower speeds.

Circles have the following characteristics: Often, circulating traffic yields to entering traffic at one or more approach points. The New Jersey Driver’s Manual advises drivers to yield to cars on the right (thus the circulating traffic would yield to entering traffic) – hmm often circulating traffic? nooo

Tangential approaches between approach roadways and the circulatory roadway allow full-speed entry. — Well, not really.

High circulating speeds (over 30 mph / 50 km/h) mean that large gaps are needed in the circulating traffic to allow stopped vehicles to safely enter. — Umm I don’t think you can drive down Bay Ave over 30 mph much less navigate our circle.

A roundabout is a type of circular junction in which road traffic must travel in one direction around a central island. Signs usually direct traffic entering the circle to slow down and give the right of way to drivers already in the circle. Ok – sounds like Highlands circular island thingy.
Roundabouts require entering drivers to give way to all traffic within the roundabout, regardless of lane position, while traffic circles typically allow traffic to enter alongside traffic circulating in an inner lane without consequence.

Deflection on entry is used to maintain low speed operation in roundabouts. Drivers must maneuver (are deflected) around the splitter islands and the central island, at speeds of 15–25 miles per hour (24–40 km/h). I do think Highlands has those triangular thingys that could be Splitter islands. 🙂

So conclusion we have a ROUNDABOUT. — woo woo

Now the other question… Why?

That’s a stumper..