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Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:19 am
I certainly understand your concern with roundabouts. They can be a little confusing initially but they do seem to work. I spent three years driving one in Europe that was three lanes deep and hand seven(7) streets attached to it for entering or leaving it. First time I used it I was somewhat baffled but after that it just seemed natural and traffic flew around it, to paraphrase George C Scott, like "crap thru a goose." I only saw one accident in it during those three years, a minor one at that and I used it nearly every day. Of course they didn't have logging trucks with dual trailers going thru them, either.
Good luck in telling Madison you don't want it. Bet that'll fly like a helium balloon from Ft Collins and crash a lot harder. Ya gotta try, though.
Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:50 pm
I haven't seen a single accident at any of the roundabouts in Madison, Green Bay or Appleton yet. See accidents at the stop lights on the way home about once a week in the winter, but never at one of the roundabouts.
These things aren't exactly tight little circles that semi, fire truck, etc. isn't going to be able to get through. The also avoid the current stupid situation where someone hits the sensor at 4th & CC at 11 PM and you have to stop for a red light when there isn't any traffic. I'd much rather have the roundabouts than the 4-way stop or another stop light.
What would be really nice is if they would extend the center turn lane all the way up 4th to the current 4-way. It's always nice when someone is making a left turn and are far enough to the right that you can't get around them (or you're behind others that won't go around).
Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:55 pm
New roundabout opened last week on my route to and from work. It is actually part of a county road and lesser traveled state highway cross road. I followed a combine through on Friday, not an issue for the combine, which I believe is wider than a logging truck and turns much tighter. I do see it confusing for the older drivers. I think the rural roundabout is good "practice" for the busier more traveled roundabouts. Personally I don't mind them. What I do mind is the driver that doesn't understand the concept. Yield, don't stop, no need to yield if there isn't any traffic. Pretty simple.
Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:18 am
Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:51 pm
Now I have that Roundabout song stuck in my head. They sure don't make videos like that anymore!
Here's a link a gentleman from Milwaukee sent me concerning roundabouts. Check it out if want the state's perspective on them: http://www.wisconsinroundabouts.org
After talking with a representative from the state DOT last week, I learned the only place a roundabout will likely be installed is at the intersection of North Fourth Street and Mohawk Drive. The Leather Avenue intersection will likely be nixed because of space issues (the stop lights will likely remain) and the CTH A proposal will likely not happen because of other issues at the intersection.
There's still issues the city would like addressed before a roundabout is included at all in the project. Pulp trucks and semis have been part of the discussion. The agreement the city reached with the state last week will bring the design up to 30 percent complete, so there will be plenty of time to discuss these issues as the plan develops.
I personally like the idea of roundabouts. If you understand how to use a "yield" sign, can look left and then turn right without crashing into an oncoming vehicle, then you've successfully navigated a roundabout. However, I also think many of the concerns brought up in this discussion are warranted. Will some drivers have problems navigating them? Probably so. I think we've kinda come to that ageless question of which came first - the chicken or the egg?
Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:44 am
Ken, thanks for sharing, great song, horrible costuming! I've always said the chorus to that song is the same rhythm in driving a roundabout.
Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:16 pm
I saw something interesting last night. About 6:00 pm I was coming into town and the Police had traffic stopped at the intersection with Leather Ave. (CC). Two trucks coming from Northland Stainless were trying to get through the intersection with large tanks on the flatbeds. The first one made it with some difficulty, but the second one was a lot longer and had a hard time making the corner. It took several manuvers and about five to ten minutes for him to get into the northbound lane. Without the Police stopping traffic there is no way he could have made it. I can just imagine what he would have had to do with a roundabout with the island in the middle like most I have seen. There is no way he would have been able to make the turn. That is a quite large intersection as it is, but with the extra long tank and trailer he had it was still difficult. Put a roundabout at Mohawk dr. and he would have had another problem.
Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:44 pm
Concerning roundabouts, I'm wondering if Tomahawk has gotten that much bigger to even need a roundabout. If it is for faster traffic time through town people ought to just be patient. I have never been held up during "rush hour" in Tomahawk. The light changes, we all go, then it changes again. Slow down, life is fun. If that may not be the case, leave your house 1 1/2 minutes earlier. Whose idea are these roundabouts anyway?
Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:04 pm
Newest roundabout on my route to work is a county road and lesser traveled state highway. My wondering is why a sidewalk around the perimeter for little old ladies to mistake for an alternative route?
Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:33 pm
The Tomahawk roundabouts would actually be easier for the semi's. From what I've been told, they are even planning removable signs and the entire center area will be mounded but not so much they can't drive over it. That way the large trucks will have no obstacles and can make as large of a turn as needed.
I've heard of ONE bad example of a roundabout now. I still think all those who say they hate them need to drive through one on a daily basis for a month or so. The roundabouts I drive through are much better than the stop lights at the intersections around them...
Also, someone else pointed out the expense of building the roundabout. While I suspect their numbers are a wee bit off, there also is less long term cost to a roundabout. No light bulbs to maintain, no electricity usage, it still works in a power outage, etc.
I think it's more fear of change than anything else!
Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:02 pm
Removeable signs ? I wonder how often they will have to replace them after someone decides to remove them just for fun !