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!

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Feel the Magic on National Merry-Go-Round Day

Merry-Go-Round, Carousels, Amusement Rides

Southport pier merry-go-round

I guess the kid in me always had a fascination with merry-go-rounds, also known as carousels. I don’t think it was about the ride as much as it was about the ornately decorated horses that were mounted on them. Although carousels are traditionally populated with horses, other animal figures like tigers, lions, zebras, barnyard animals or mythological creatures are also mounted on posts installed on many circular, moving platforms.

Looff Merry-Go-Round, Carousel

Bette Largent, president of the National Carousel Association, began the restoration of this 1909 Looff merry-go-round operating at Riverfront Park in Spokane, Washington, in 1992.

Whether you are visiting an amusement park or festival, there is something so innocent, mysterious yet safe about climbing on one of these exquisite, sculpted, wooden pieces of art and riding like you don’t have a care in the world.

Carousel, Merry-Go-Round, Flying Hrses Carousel

The Flying Carousel is the nation’s oldest platform carousel and has been designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior as a national landmark. Constructed in 1876 by Charles Dare, it is one of only two Dare carousels still in existence.

Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, Walt Disney Carousel, Cinderella's Golden Carrousel

Prince Charming Regal Carrousel (formerly Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel) is an authentic carousel in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort.

Santa Monica Carousel, Looff Carousel, Looff Hippodrome

The Looff Hippodrome and its merry-go-round on the city’s pleasure pier have been popular since they opened in 1916. At the city’s outer edge, on the rough-hewn pier, sits the Santa Monica carousel.

Armitage-Herschell carousel

Armitage-Herschell carousel, circa 1895-1900, was made with uniform horses.

Get in touch with your inner-child and climb aboard a carousel in your neck of the woods! Feel that childlike magic as we celebrate this amusement park attraction. Happy National Merry-Go-Round Day!