Centre Square is a Circle

Easton is at once extremely uncomplicated and inexplicably intricate. For example, when the city was laid out in 1752, it was designed as a grid emanating from a square at the center of town. That square still exists, and it is still a square, and it’s called Centre Square. However, the Square contains a traffic circle, so some people refer to the center of downtown as the Circle rather than the Square. Whatever you call it, you need to know how to drive around it. For some reason navigating the Circle in the Square in a car has proven to be problematic for both locals and visitors alike, so here are some hints. Actually, here are some suggestions. Actually, consider them rules. That way we can all get along.

Easton’s traffic circle, like all traffic circles, has an inner and an outer ring. The circle has four entrances/exits, each 90° apart. The outer ring is for traffic traveling either only 90° or the last 90°; the inner ring is for traffic traveling more than 90°. Let’s illustrate this.

Say you are entering the circle from North Third Street and want to, essentially, make a left onto Northampton Street, heading east. First, come to a full stop at the light, whether it’s blinking or not. Because you will be traveling a total of 270°, when traffic allows proceed to the inner ring. Once you have traveled 180° (when you pass South Third Street), put on your blinker, move first to the outer ring, and then turn onto Northampton Street. See the diagram at left for further clarification.

The lights at the circle’s four intersections are either blinking, indicating that you proceed through the intersections cautiously if you’re already in the circle or that you stop before entering the circle, or they are still, indicating that you need to stop and let pedestrians have the right of way no matter where you are. The still light really, really means stop. It does not mean keep going just until the next intersection, or keep going until you exit the circle. It means stop.

Finally, always remember that your blinkers are a helpful way for the drivers of vehicles next to and behind you to know when you plan to merge or turn. This is as true in traffic circles as it is in life.

Having made it to the end of this little tutorial, you should know everything you need in order to traverse the circle like a pro while enjoying the sights of Centre Square.


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