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Comes around

2012-10-23 17:45:48.762866+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

A neighboring town, Cotati, currently has a measure on the ballot to ban roundabouts.

The Economist: Circular infrastructure: What goes around talks about why roundabouts are such a good thing.

[ related topics: Economics ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2012-10-25 11:25:37.34792+00 by: DaveP

Oh, I agree that roundabouts often work. I first encountered them in the UK and Germany, where they seem to work very well.

But when they're retro-fitted into intersections that used to be just stop-signs (as happened in MSP exurbia thanks to TARP funds, according to the signs), people need to change their behavior for the roundabouts to work. I've seen too many where the "through" street simply enters the circle regardless of traffic, and the more minor street stops until things are completely clear. That's no safer or more convenient than a stop sign.

And then there are the drivers who seem to find them "fun" and accelerate into and through the roundabouts. It doesn't take many of those to turn my trousers brown when I'm out on two wheels.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-10-24 17:14:20.827089+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, I think that much like designing roads for desired speed rather than trying to enforce speed limits, acknowledging that stop signs are wasteful and annoying and designing the infrastructure to alternately handle that case is a reasonable approach. If we have a UI that doesn't work, my approach is to change the UI, not blame the users; stop signs are one of those cases.

The circles I go through regularly I do on 4 wheels, so I can't speak to the 2 wheel case, other than to point out that the statistics of extant installations seem to be strongly in the "these things work" camp.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-10-24 09:48:42.10704+00 by: DaveP

We've been getting a ton of new roundabouts around here. To me, they're a sign that we have given up on trying to actually get people to stop for stop signs, and are just going to create more glancing accidents in the traffic donuts.

As a motorcyclist, I don't like 'em much at all. Seems the cars following me almost uniformly accelerate into them and I'm pretty sure I'm going to get rear-ended when I have to slow (or worse, stop) before entering one sometime soon.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-10-23 23:36:06.312357+00 by: Dan Lyke

For me it took a couple of times through them before I started to become comfortable, and it'll take everyone else doing more than a couple of times through them before they start to become comfortable, but I've gotten to like them.

As long as the "unmarked" police cars follow the rules and yield like they're supposed to, rather than barging through and making people in the circle brake to avoid them.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-10-23 22:55:33.907983+00 by: Mars Saxman

I know why roundabouts are supposed to be a good idea, but I just don't *like* them.