Broome has become the roundabout capital of the world, with more roundabouts per capita than dogs, and Broome is a dog-lover’s town. In a bid to remain traffic-light free, the Shire of Broome has invested heavily in roundabouts for its traffic management strategy. While they mostly help to keep traffic flowing freely, they have also caused one of the longest running community debates in Broome. That debate is how, when or even if, you indicate at a roundabout. The rule that most Broomies follow is "if that 4WD is bigger than yours, and inevitably they always are, then you indicate".
Broome's newest residential area, Waranyjarri Estate is named after roundabouts. Waran-gardi walama waranyjarri is Yawuru for "turn it around". The estate has a roundabout at each entry point from Gubinge Road. Two of the roundabouts are less that 200mts apart. Not only do roundabouts keep the traffic moving but they also provide much needed employment. The local chamber of commerce continually calls for more economic stimulus by building more roundabouts. The economic stimulus doesn’t stop with those who build them. Most tyre centres report a 50% increase in the wear on the left hand side of front tyres requiring tyre changes at increased intervals.
Its very difficult to count the number of roundabouts in Broome because as soon as you complete the count another one pops up and you need to start the count again. Its almost impossibe to complete any route in Broome without encountering at least two roundabouts. The journey from Cable Beach to Chinatown involves ten roundabouts, two of which are double lane.
The most recent roundabout built in Broome, at the intersection of Broome Highway and Napier Terrace, is said to be the most complex roundabout in the world. It connects only two roadways with 4 entry and 5 exit points. Even the most experienced Broome driver often finds themselves in the driveway of Shell Checkpoint when attempting a left exit from Chinatown. Where else does a service station have its own roundabout exit to direct traffic to the bowser? Shell Australia have reported a 100% increase in sales from the Broome station.
You know you’re in Broome when you feel like you're going around in circles.