Letter: The trouble with roundabouts

Saturday, January 13, 2018
The trouble with roundabouts

The problem with the roundabouts is not with the drivers but with the design of the roundabouts themselves. Driving instructor Jim Amico (interviewed for the Monitor’s Jan. 10 article) came close to identifying the problem when he said, “It would help if people used their turn signal when leaving the roundabout,” but we know that will never happen. The trouble is when you approach the circle and look to the left you don’t know if the approaching car is leaving the circle or not, and by the time it does the next car is so close that you have to wait for that car too, and on and on.

This situation is caused by poor design: The “in” and “out” lanes should be several car-lengths apart, so when one car leaves, it creates a space large enough for another car to enter. This traffic flow does not occur in our roundabouts because the lanes are only about one car length apart. In some cases this design error is caused by squeezing a roundabout into a space that is actually not big enough to accommodate one that functions properly.