Archive for Thursday, September 22, 2005

Traffic reality

September 22, 2005


To the editor:

In reference to Monday's article, "Couple question safety of new traffic circle ordinance," Les Hannon is absolutely right in believing the day will come when a tragic accident will occur in a traffic circle and create a costly lawsuit for the city.

Traffic circles are OK as long as there is enough space in which to build them and to permit vehicles to drive around them in an counter-clockwise direction. When there is not enough space, establishing an ordinance that allows traffic to travel the wrong way along what is essentially a one-way traffic route is just plain and utterly ridiculous.

The city should immediately remove the traffic circles that are just plain too big for their space and change the ordinance back to the way it was. It's not like there are no other solutions to "calming" or controlling traffic at such intersections, such as instituting four-way stops or one-way traffic patterns.

How this crazy left-turn idea was ever considered in the first place by city officials is unfathomable. What's next? Ordinances to allow vehicles to turn left at stop lights? To drive backwards down one-way streets?

What we need is city calming devices to soothe our city officials and bring them back down to reality; never mind about calming traffic!

John Wysocki,



Richard Heckler 12 years, 9 months ago

I don't mind that particular traffic circle and David Woosley is correct on his assumption as well. However that left turn is a bit much to be thrown at Lawrence drivers until the community learns navigational habits. Rescind the left turn decision.

bjohanning 12 years, 9 months ago

Having lived in Europe and used their traffic circles which allow for the continuous movement of traffic without any problems, it appears that we of Lawrence either are afraid of progress or just can't drive.

bjohanning 12 years, 9 months ago

However, I agree that a left turn in a traffic circle is a really bad ideal.

wysocki 12 years, 9 months ago

bjohanning: I beg to differ. It's not that Lawrence drivers are afraid of progress or just can't drive but rather that many of this city's traffic circles or roundabouts are installed in intersections that are either simply too small to begin with or are specifically intended to slow down traffic in residential neighborhoods. Installing traffic circles that allow for the continuous movement of traffic - as is done in Europe as you quite rightly point out - is quite different from slowing down traffic. However, being able to drive cars and emergency vehicles safely through any intersection should be of paramount concern no matter how the intersection is designed or what its purpose is. Of course, now being allowed by the city to drive against one-way traffic in traffic circles or roundabouts does not exactly make such intersections any safer.

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