15th Avenue, between the UO campus and Jefferson Street, is a residential street and popular bicycle route with four neighborhood traffic circles. The City is considering changing the STOP signs that accompany the neighborhood traffic circles along this corridor to YIELD signs in all directions as well as adding marked crosswalks.
Neighborhood traffic circles are essentially smaller, more residentially-focused versions of roundabouts. They have a circular island in the center that direct traffic to drive counter-clockwise around the center island toward their desired destination. They also calm traffic by reducing travel speeds and removing traffic lights. Without a traffic light, the “need to beat the light” mentality is diminished, and traffic can move more smoothly at a constant speed without completely coming to a stop. Instead, drivers yield to oncoming traffic before entering the circle. This is the key word – yield.