Not the cars or roads… but, the fries? Well…
Not the cars or roads… but, the fries? Well…
In New Zealand anyway, they don’t use round-a-bouts for low volume intersections, just 90 degree cross streets w/ stop signs for that. Or traffic lights. Round a bouts take up too much space to justify, except at the higher traffic volume, higher speed intersections, where they work best. Like any intersection they can become clogged if the volume exceeds their capacity. There was one I recall in Christchurch NZ that would slow to a crawl at 5 pm on workdays. But I doubt it would be any slower to get through that round-a-bout than if there were traffic light controlled. For the driver, they definitely do take some getting used to. Which way to look, who has the right of way, etc. How I learned was set up shop where I could see one in Auckland NZ during a high traffic time, and just watch what happened. I observed what the drivers did as they approached the intersection. About 100 yards away, they be watching the traffic in the circle and adjusting their speed so they’d blend into the circle traffic at the same speed and merge at a place there was an opening. it’s a more comfortable way for the driver to get through an intersection b/c they don’t have to slow down as much, and don’t have to twist their heads at such awkward angles.
But there’s no reason to speculate. All you’d have to do is compare a traffic light controlled intersection to a round-a-bout with the same traffic volume to handle, and measure the time on average the typical car gets through. .
Like I said above, I don’t see round a bouts making much of an impact in the USA b/c of how much space they take. To retrofit one in properly, the gov’t would have to confiscate all four corner lots. And that’s not gonna happen.
I think its called MDS (merge derangement syndrome). I guess it happens going into round-abouts as well as on freeway entrance ramps. Stop just before entering or enter at half speed just because you can. The one I like though is when a whole string of cars (after getting a green light) tries to enter the freeway all at the same time and bumper to bumper. I don’t know what you’d call it but certainly not taking turns.
The food in most of the civilized world is better.
The cars in France, not so much. Even the Citroen or the Renault can’t compete on the world market.
Most people in most civilized countries get their foods fresh from the marketplace every day and cook it the way food should be cooked. Travel may broaden one’s horizons, but it sure makes us realize when we get home how processed and poor much of our food is. Not only is the food processed, but the meats, poultry, etc. are too. Even milk is different.
As to cars, well, we used to make the best cars in the world for the working class, better by a longshot than most of those from European and other countries. But, alas, most of us who remember those days are in our later years. About 1970 that all went to crap, and we never recovered. And France’s Citroen used to be highly respected too, especially for some of its innovations like hydraulic suspension. Those days are gone also.
Much of my post is subjective. Others may disagree. These are my opinions, open to disagreement.
The US began a steady decline in so many areas with automobiles seemingly the worst since the Big 4’s decline was crushing domestic manufacturing, sales, financing and service. The Japanese automobile industry jumped in a took over the American automobile market due to their ability to more quickly adapt to market changes. And Detroit remains determined to keep marketing battle ships to cash in on the periods of low gasoline prices.
As for food, so many of us are spoiled to finding most any produce available any day of the year and partially prepared foods that take all the drudgery out of preparing feasts that we eat better than royalty in most of the world. I recall when tomatoes were available about 3 months out of the year, melons,sweet corn and peas a few weeks. But of course wives spent weeks canning each summer.
I spent 3 days in Paris at a Millenium hotel within sight of that roundabout. Never saw traffic plugged up like that, a lot of traffic moved very well. One of the things that makes it work is that there are undergoung walkways if pedestricns want to cross the circle.
I spent a month in Paris and didn’t see traffic problems; it was 2011 October and there were a lot of gendarmes around (and they had removed all the trash cans and shut those auto-cleaning toilets where you could do your business for 2 francs - to thwart the vigipirates - apparently a hygienic bunch.) Having spent time in Montreal - terrible traffic - I expected worse.
Remember when someone sued Chevy Chase Circle because the trees impeded her attempt to drive through it (drunkenly)?
They call them Belgian.
The ones Albuquerque added recently don’t take up additional space.
Remember George Romney? His claim to fame was saving American Motors. Haven’t thought of AM since Mitt ran in 2012. High school friend had a Gremlin.
"Hey, where’s the other half of your car, Toots?" I recall hearing that question pertaining to a Gremlin, but I’m not sure whether it was an actual TV ad or not.
I remember that shortly after the Gremlins came out that I observed one revving and spinning the rear wheels. It was “stuck” on flat ground at a gas station that had just an inch or two of snow on the ground, while other cars were able to move about. That Gremlin could have used its back-half for some needed weight behind the drive axle!
Remember the “fish bowl” Pacer?
Well you do know who has the right of way - People in the Rotary do. But not everyone obeys it.
Same thing. The most complicated is a 4-Way stop. The first person to intersection has the right of way. If there’s a tie, then the person to the RIGHT has the right of way. The problem (here on New England) is people don’t obey the traffic laws. I see people all the time not even stopping. And if you hit them…you better have a dash-cam to PROVE the idiot was at fault because they’ll say it was you who didn’t stop.
They don’t have any at my northern location, but here in FL there are lots of intersections with cameras ready to snap pictures of light runners. I am very careful not to have my picture taken and then receive a citation by mail, but even those cameras don’t stop some idiots that I see run lights when they had plenty of time to stop.
It seems that no matter what is done to improve road safety some idiot will figure out how to endanger other people, anyhow.
Interesting that there was an article in the paper today with complaints from pedestrians talking about how dangerous a couple planned round-abouts will be for crossing. So the MNDOT guy responded that they are safer because traffic has to slow down more for round-abouts. Slow down more for round-abouts than for a stop sign??? Do I look stupid?? So what they do is put the cross walk just before the round-about with a sign saying pedestrians have the right of way. So while drivers are looking to try and figure out the round-about they are about to enter, pedestrians are supposed to enter the cross walk and the drivers will stop for them. I’m sorry but this is just insane. These DOT people are just nuts-at least in Minnesota.
So are round-abouts supposed to improve the flow of traffic by not having to stop or are they supposed to slow traffic more than an intersection? The experts don’t seem to know either.
Don’t you just love the way politicians can speak non sense and still get re-elected @Bing. My state’s legislature somehow conjured up the rhetoric to convince this most fundamental of fundamentalist states to vote in casino gambling 30 years ago. It was magic. And that same legislature replaced 2 highways just a few miles apart with new 4 lanes. I have traveled both stretches on several occasions and in the 50 miles span of either one it is rare to see more than a dozen vehicles except in the few miles that each take through towns. And Mississippi is not very appreciative of the generosity of several politically opposite states whose taxes fund most of spending here. Certainly Minnesota has given their share to help us. If you weren’t so generous with Mississippi you could have more roads than you need like we do.
This MA DOT guy actually made this statement when he was addressing several people about the fact that 2-3 cross members of the of the I-93 bridge that runs over the Merrimack River fell into the river.
“There’s no big safety issue because there are very few boaters on this section of the river.”
I think you’ve solved the mystery…
I never heard that one. I pretty much moved away in 1970 when I started college. Did this happen later? She was quite a trend setter, you know. Now blaming our problems on others is all the rage.
Below is a photo of a typical round a bout in San Jose. First off , notice the size of the diameter of the circle. Second, see the stop sign? The purpose the round a bout is to reduce the necessity to stop, to keep traffic flowing. Placing stop signs at the entrance make the whole intended purpose suspect.
Here’s the New Zealand version of a small round a bout.
Notice the difference? Takes up more space, and no stop signs.
Even people who run stop signs slow down for traffic circles.
Is that your picture?
Both: everyone slows down for traffic circles; traffic flow improves because motorists don’t have to stop.
The new circles in Albuquerque are much smaller, no room for anything inside. They’re unignorable (the way stop signs are), stimulate motorists to pay attention, and force them to turn left they way I was taught: drive past the center of the intersection. The proper way for 2 motorists headed in opposite directions to turn left is to pass each other, turn outside of each other. Most people do the opposite now. The circle eliminates the face-off. There are no stop signs. Pedestrians have to watch out for themselves.
I have made the loop on this roundabout several times
and because traffic was light Myself and the other cars I saw sailed right through. I was impressed that the engineer took the 90* turns off the circle and that eliminated a lot of problems
This is an old town square that hasn’t changed in many years and local residents just take it for granted that they must deal with making the loop or go several blocks out of the way.
Large trucks moving through town have no alternative but make the loop. I made that loop twice a day for several years on a parcel delivery route. Delivery trucks were allowed to stop in the center of the street and unload.
Yes, that’s the way round a bout should be designed. No stop signs, no sharp angle turns. Thanks RK for the proof that well designed round a bouts are possible in the USA. The downside of course, takes more real estate.
Edit: Referring to the first link in @Rod_Knox 's post above.
Well wait, I don’t get it. If you look at the Google map, there are exit and entrance ramps for each east/west, north/south multi-lane road. The round-about though serves the through traffic requiring those going straight to slow down and go through the circle. Wouldn’t a conventional over-pass been cheaper and allow traffic to flow better? Especially on a four lane? It does look pretty though from the air, but what kind of a place is “Simply Charming”?