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February 12, 2016



Well, in answer to your question, I do think there is a problem, and it emanates from the habitual speeding on California Drive, lack of police presence, and the inconsiderate lack of attention given to anyone attempting to cross the Stacks crosswalk. These have not been "fixed" and thus far, there hasn't been a good, quick solution. No matter how many apparatuses have been installed at significant expense, with flashing lights,above, below, etc. people are still zooming by and pedestrians cross at their own peril.

I've been assured by my bike-rider buddies (bikes need to use this, too) that these constructions are de rigueur and the way to go, but just hope reality doesn't trump idealism. All those crosswalks just outside the roundabout mean that the speeds will need to come way, way down on approach.

The question I have wondered about since going to that same presentation, is whether or not Burlingame drivers and visitors will be able to use this configuration, safely. In any case, I think it must go hand in hand with a road diet for at least the section of California Drive between Burl. Ave. and Broadway, to get those speeds down or we'll have a whole slew of new problems. And there may be monies forthcoming to study the "diet" issue.

In the room

This will only cause more confusion here. Some might think that the roundabouts are charming like we live in Europe...but we don't.

Peter Garrison

The Hot Springs Road roundabout in Montecito is similar to this proposed roundabout. It slows traffic but does take some clever guesswork the first few times. Easy does it.


Roundabouts seem to be the new trend in certain planning circles. They are popping up all over at Stanford, for example. People seem to have figured them out better than I expected, especially all the clueless tourists. I thought they'd be a disaster, but now I like them because they eliminated a lot of stop signs. Travel time is faster, because even with traffic slowing in the roundabouts, it keeps moving, and even the clueless figure it out faster than a four-way stop.

Peter Garrison

In France the drivers go with the flow. In the Netherlands they have roundabouts with stop signs- Ugh.


There are a pair of roundabouts in Truckee at the Highway 89 exit from I-80 and I'm pleasantly surprised by how well they work in a very, very busy application.


Why was this project considered?
Who complained, and what was the complaint?
Maybe this is something we needed.


Can you not read Jennifer's comment above?


Modern roundabouts are the safest form of intersection in the world (much more so than comparable signals). Visit http://tinyurl.com/iihsRAB for modern roundabout FAQs and safety facts. Modern roundabouts, and the pedestrian refuge islands approaching them, are two of nine proven safety measures identified by the FHWA, http://tinyurl.com/7qvsaem
The FHWA has a video about modern roundabouts on Youtube, or check out the IIHS video (iihs dot org).



Wonder what SamTrans and Central County Fire Dept think.



Dear Hillsider,
would you mind "breaking it down" for me?
There might be other community members that do not have the ability to digest information as you do.
Thank You.

Bruce Dickinson

Listen, fellas, a while back I thought it was a crazy idea, but looking at the schematic above, and judging from my own driving experiences in Paris, Italy, other parts of Europe, and our own Washington D.C. I think this roundabout may work for the location. That intersection is a mess, particularly for those making the left onto California and you're really only dealing with a 3 (or technically four) way intersection, so it evades the problems with 5-6 intersections seen is some of these other cities. Also having two lanes is crucial to making the roundabout work. Also think it will be safer for pedestrians who will be better able to time the vehicles and know where they're heading and make better eye contact with drivers. Hopefully, drivers will continue to use their turn signals; come to think of it, Burlingame should post a "Indicate with Turn Signals" or "Use Turn Signals" sign. Having such an uncommon sign will stick in drivers' noggins.

Besides that, when Bruce Dickinson sees a roundabout and has several Ferraris in his arsenal, look out, as I have been known to find these roundabouts enticing "drifting" circles, if ya know what I mean! Don't forget, while working on some records in Japan, I was taught by none other than the infamous "Drift King" aka Keiichi Tsuchiya, who I knew shared a certain love for Ferraris. Yes, taught by the master drifter himself!

Vroom Vroom!!


Do you have an autobiography available?


Who is paying for all of this? I am not opposed to the idea but is it the best use of oiur money?


A reminder from the City:

When: Thursday, October 27 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Burlingame Recreation Center, 850 Burlingame Avenue - Social Hall

The public is invited to attend the third community meeting for the California Drive "Roundabout" Project. The project involves the design and construction of a traffic roundabout at the intersection of California Drive, Bellevue Avenue, and Lorton Avenue in downtown Burlingame. At this meeting, a brief project update will be provided, including answers to questions and comments from the second public meeting. The meeting will also include discussion about landscaping and urban design options, with a focus on gathering community preferences.

Peter Garrison

Hope it is a real roundabout as in France. No stop & go; simply merge and go with the flow. Weirdest roundabout was near Rotterdam that had about six stoplights within the circle. Makes no sense; the roundabout became a donut-shaped intersection.


I forgot all about this. My question still stands from February. Who is paying for this nice to have but not necessary stuff? There are more inclined curbs going in around town to. They are maybe more than nice to have for some but do we need all of them?


This may be a Burlingame Park Dept. Project.
I do not understand how traffic has been able to drive down this road for 50-60 years without a "Roundabout."
Obviously it will slow down traffic to the benefit of Local Business.
The Roundabout might just be the High Speed Rail's "Flag Planting."
Lets face it. Where HSR needs to go, they will go.

pat giorni

Holy, you've rolled off your rocker. This is a PW project, initiated by the now defunct until reorganized Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee as part of TPSC that sought to bring safety to pedestrians crossing at Stacks because the "flashy lights" crosswalk and other fixes weren't working. It is also an attempt to keep southbound bicyclists from being sideswiped at Belleview and Lorton intersections. The slowdown WILL improve odds for peds and bikes and all those vehiclists who are parked in the lot to use a virtually hi-speed arterial with a whole lot more safety. I don't see a lot of business gain other than keeping its customers alive. As to HSR? Not even part of the conversation.



Hey, I know how we can improve safety on El Camino. Let's put a roundabout on California and take both California and Carolan from four lanes to two. That should help the heavily-trafficked El Camino Real.


Right on, Fred. Could not agree more. I may post that article on its own thread, but thanks for tying the two together so nicely.


Not exactly for this thread, but same street, further north
From the City of Burlingame Events postings-

"California Drive Complete Streets Project Workshop
Tuesday, January 24 from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Lane Room, Burlingame Main Library, 480 Primrose Road

The City of Burlingame is hosting a second community workshop to present options for the California Drive Complete Streets project. The project aims to improve bicycle, pedestrian, and vehicular access along California Drive, from Murchison Drive to south of Broadway. For questions, contact Andrew Wong at [email protected] or call (650) 558-7237."


From the City newsletter:

On March 19, 2018, the Burlingame City Council awarded the construction contract for the California Drive Roundabout Project to Redgwick Construction Co. The California Drive Roundabout Project consists of realignment of California Drive at Bellevue Avenue and Lorton Avenue, for the construction of a two-lane traffic roundabout at this complicated intersection. The project goal is to implement traffic calming measures by improving pedestrian and bicycle safety and access, while reducing vehicular speed and minimizing conflicts.

Construction is anticipated to start May 2018 with estimated completion in January 2019, weather permitting.


Roundabouts to the max: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3Vd7dr33o8

"The Magic Roundabout" in Swindon, England

Peter Garrison

I find that there are two types of people in life: the people who go with the flow, and the people who take turns. The roundabout is going bamboozle people who take turns – they’re gonna come to a complete stop and look left and right instead of going with the flow around the circle. And I don’t know why all of a sudden roundabouts are the rage – there’s a new one in Montecito, a new one in Healdsburg. I suspect it’s a way to spend money...

I hope that this roundabout has no stop signs on it. Looks like it is a flow through circle. Rode a roundabout is Belgium that had six stop lights in it – made no sense. Hope they’re like the ones in France where you go with the flow around the circle and on your way.

I’ve never been inconvenienced at this particular place in our streetscape – I’ve been in cars, motorcycle, Vespa, on foot- and I’ve had to wait maybe 30 seconds before I safely do what I want.

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