Letter to the Editor
City should consider traffic first in roundabout design
12/19/2012 10:26:38 AM
I visited the roundabout open house last week at City Hall. I also read The Splash's Dec. 13 cover story about sign ideas intended for the roundabout.
Roundabouts are a good thing. They allow a car to get through an intersection without stopping. There are no stop signs at a roundabout for good reason. If you have to stop at one, then you may as well have traffic lights or stop signs. A roundabout works best only when you can time your entry based on what other cars are doing primarily on your left, and entry can be accomplished without stopping.
The idea of having huge signs or trees on a roundabout of this size completely misses the point. Anything that blocks your view of other cars entering other parts of the round-about will likely have you stopping for fear of pulling out in front of someone for lack of seeing them until it's too late. If you can't see across to other cars entering, you can't time your entry without stopping. If cars stop, then this is a massive failure of the purpose of a roundabout.
I'm all for green and trees and so forth, but low-to-the-ground flowers, etc., would be a far better feature. A sign, if we have to have one at all, would be better off on the side of the road, not the center of a roundabout.
In light of the city's rightly proud attitude on minimal signage, why are we looking for a huge sign (and expense) anyway?