Lawrence motorists confused about how to drive through the city's traffic roundabouts may find some guidance with their March water bills.
City officials are preparing to send 29,000 one-page information sheets meant to give drivers and pedestrians tips on how to better navigate roundabouts and traffic circles.
The mailing comes after city commissioners earlier this year said they were concerned city drivers were not as comfortable as they should be using the devices. Chuck Soules, the city's director of public works, said he thought motorists were becoming more familiar with the devices but that the mailing might speed the process.
"I think it is just a new issue to some people," Soules said. "They come up on one and they haven't driven around them before, so they're not quite sure what to do. Hopefully, this information will give them the heads up before they first encounter one."
City Manager Mike Wildgen said the mailing would include information on safe ways for cars to merge into traffic at roundabouts, methods for pedestrians to cross at roundabouts and key differences between roundabouts and their smaller cousins, traffic circles.
Wildgen said the city might do a similar mailing in September to make sure new residents to the community are educated. The information also is available at the city's Web site at www.lawrenceks
Larry Krull, owner of Lawrence-based Midwest Driving School, said there was nothing wrong with the city trying to educate drivers, but he said the devices really weren't that hard to navigate.
"It just comes with a little bit of experience," Krull said. "You go through one, two or three times, and you won't have any problems at all. People are just complaining about them because they have to slow down."
Soules said the city was gathering data on how effective roundabouts had been in reducing crashes at intersections.
The report is not yet complete, but Soules said there had not been an accident reported this year at 19th Street and Barker Avenue, where a roundabout recently was installed.