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Feb 22 2012

Iric

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I’m not of afraid of circles…are you?

Will someone please inform the Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) that the answer to all traffic problems is not to continually add roundabouts anywhere and everywhere? I truly do not understand this roundabout trend, but it seems like every intersection is getting this cosmetic traffic face-lift these days. A roundabout is a circular intersection in which traffic flows in one direction around a central island. According to the government statistics, roundabouts are safer than traditional four-way intersections. They are also supposed to cut your time at an intersection in half.

 

The problem is that not all drivers are smart enough to figure out how to use a roundabout. The D.O.T. should install pretty flashing lights and speakers on the center island, and play merry-go-round music. Maybe then, drivers would be less intimidated, and figure out how to drive in a circle.

There are a lot of people who are nervous about using a roundabout. I always find myself behind these scaredy-cat drivers. The driver approaches the roundabout, and then comes to a complete stop. Maybe these frightened drivers believe the direction of traffic in the roundabout changes on a daily basis.


Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays = Counter Clockwise

Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays = Clockwise

 

Perhaps they come to a complete stop because they forgot what day of the week it is, and they don’t want to drive in the wrong direction. It seems like it takes these dormant drivers forever to figure out when to join in the roundabout game.


It always makes me think of the time I attempted to Double Dutch as a young kid. All the kids around me, all the pressure, and all the laughter…aimed at me. Those jump ropes seemed like they were moving over 100 mph. The jump-rope songs that the kids (turners) were singing didn’t help me concentrate, didn’t increase my courage, and didn’t help me figure out when to jump into Double Dutch. I jumped in and immediately created a tangled mess. I got so tangled in the jump ropes that I looked like I was hog-tied. All the kids laughed at me.

Maybe I should wear my Superman socks and attempt to Double Dutch again. What do you think?

 

Next time I get behind a scared motionless roundabout driver, I’ll roll down my windows, and blast the following song. Maybe this song will give them the courage to jump…I mean drive…in the roundabout circle.


Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

The other day I saw a silver SUV get stuck in a roundabout. The SUV went around the circle four times before making its escape. I thought maybe the SUV driver was living-out his/her childhood dream of being a NASCAR driver, and was simply waiting for a checkered flag to appear before leaving the circle. 


I’m sure there are driving classes to help people overcome their fear and ignorance when it comes to driving in roundabouts.  In some parts of the world…they have double roundabouts.  Scary! 

Imagine what would happen to the silver SUV that got stuck in the single roundabout if he/she tried to maneuver through a giant figure eight.  Worse yet, what if Maxwell the pig, from the Geico commercials, was in the backseat egging the driver on to stay in this circular madness for as long as possible.

I just hope the silver SUV has a full tank of gas, and the driver has lots of patience because it would be hours of driving in circles, and listening to this:

 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

Basic rules for driving in a roundabout:

 

  1. Yield to cars already in the roundabout.
  2. Don’t change lanes.  Accidents often occur when drivers switch lanes.
  3. Do not stop!  Most drivers have been yielding and merging onto highways for many years.  Just because this is a circle doesn’t mean drivers have to lose all their driving common sense.  

 

Everyone be safe on the road OR please be foolish in front of me so I can write about you.

 

Music by Blue October

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1 comment

  1. Camila

    I love this blog. I will be looking forward your next post!

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