Do not be deceived by alleged traffic improvement benefits of roundabouts, especially when there is a more simple alternative.
Roundabouts enormously increase lane-changing situations that are one of the highest causes of accidents. Worse is that entering vehicles must stop to yield right-of-way to traffic already in the roundabout.
It is difficult to predict where that traffic will exit even if turn signals are properly used. Vehicles trying to enter must wait extra long because of uncertainty. Guess who will be charged with both criminal and civil negligence if that kind of accident happens?
Then how about the big trucks that have difficulty getting started, which requires a much bigger break in traffic to avoid the much greater liability issues just mentioned.
Want to be in the long impatient line behind a big truck having difficulty getting in the roundabout and then being blind to traffic beside him as he either negotiates the lane changes or necessarily encroaches multiple lanes?
Sure, it would be nice if big trucks were taken off the road and out of the way, but we’re all crippled without them.
There is a far more effective solution for Sharpe’s Corner. Merely add either a left- or right-hand westbound exit lane with an overhead left turn at the intersection. Properly built, all the left-turning traffic that now has to wait for a signal cycle can zoom right on through without even slowing down.
Think of the fuel savings — and frustration relief — of not losing momentum at the bottom of a long and steep hill.
The only beneficiaries of roundabouts are nearby businesses who find any phony excuse they can — and go to any “OPM” taxpayer expense — to impede traffic in order to increase patronage.
Al Williams, retired trucker