I Am So Not a Fan of Roundabouts

Roundabout Interchange, Traffic Circle, Roundabout, Road Circle

Image source: http://behbg.com

Efficient? So they say, but I honestly see it as a stressful addition to an already problematic situation. Roundabout, a British term meaning traffic circle or merry-go-round, is a circular intersection where traffic is supposed to flow continuously in one direction around a central island.

Our area is experiencing growth spurts that are exceeding the projected population growth. The addition of roundabouts is supposed to decongest busy intersections, reduce driver confusion and the likelihood of collisions while maintaining a continuous traffic flow. My issue with roundabouts results when vehicles enter these road circles, and some drivers do not always yield for others to enter. Plus, what happens when you make the mistake of merging on a road you didn’t intend to go, while traffic is backed up waiting to get on the roundabout if you need to do a u-turn to get back on track? Ugh!

Roundabout Interchange, Traffic Circle, Roundabout, Road Circle

Image source: roadsbridges.com

I think I am a seasoned driver and can adapt to change. The test of my driving skills came at the age of 16 when I was a high school bus driver and had to use my cognitive and motor skills (no pun intended) to drive as cautiously and responsibly as I could for the sake of the lives of all of my student passengers.

According to some reports, roundabouts represent significant improvements in operations and safety. Many people highly favor these road modifications. I’m not there yet. My dissatisfaction comes from my experience with ‘yielding issues’ on a moderately light traffic time of the day when entering a roundabout. I shudder to think about roundabouts with pedestrian crossings. The aerial view is geometrically pleasing, but Lord help us when driverless vehicles begin entering the scene!