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My Turn: Another roundabout? No thanks!

Well, here we go again! After the cancellation of the twin roundabouts at Exit 12 of Interstate 93, I thought engineers and administrators had come to their senses. Obviously not.

Now city officials are considering a roundabout at the intersection of Pleasant and Main streets.

The Main Street project for $7.85 million is way over the top! Even with a grant for $4.71 million (again, our money), this is far more money than is sensible to spend on such a project.

Concerned about the uncontrollable growth of roundabouts, I have met with city and state traffic engineers, gaining no satisfaction. Engineers just support the out-of-control roundabout craze.

Here is why I oppose them:

1. The proposed Main Street roundabout sounds dysfunctional. If you know it will be dysfunctional, why do it?

2. When the roundabout at Centre, Auburn and Liberty streets went in, I met with a fireman at the North State Street fire station to ask how they would drive a fire truck through it.

He said, “They can’t!” I asked if they hadn’t testified at public hearings. He said they had – but that the city had made the changes anyway.

3. The best roundabout is at Franklin and North State streets –but again, totally unnecessary. I live on Auburn Street and go through that intersection many times a week. I was never been concerned with traffic issues there before the current roundabout was installed.

4. The worst roundabout is on the way to Boscawen, at King and Canal streets. That used to be a straight road with a simple intersection to Canal Street. Now they are really fouled up.

I am not an engineer, but I can think. I know these roundabouts are a huge waste of money and disruption of traffic.

Why is it that college-educated engineers and public overseers cannot (or do not) think clearly?

(Michael R. Royce lives in Concord.)

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