Archive for Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Still stubborn

February 14, 2007

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To the editor:

I knew I had a problem but it took Scott McDaniel's letter in the Feb. 10 Journal-World to find out what it was. I am a stubborn, ignorant old man. I don't share his passion for roundabouts. The one just east of Massachusetts on 19th Street is a real help to westbound traffic. It probably saves two or three minutes to get you to the stoplight at Massachusetts, Kentucky, Tennessee or Louisiana streets.

Maybe we should just replace all the stoplights and stop signs with roundabouts; that way traffic would never have to stop. That would take care of the people who run red lights. If we spend all our money on roundabouts, streets would deteriorate so badly that people would have to slow down so that would take care of the speeders.

There are probably other benefits, too, but when you are old, obnoxious and uninformed you just can't think of them all. Thankfully, even our mayor, who is not a stubborn, ignorant, old man, even expressed some doubts about the wisdom of any more of them for a while. I would be willing to bet there might be one or two more people in town of the same opinion.

Carl Guggisberg,

Lawrence

Comments

mae 8 years, 5 months ago

after living in lawrence for a decade, and i'm 30, i can say that when it snows nobody sees them. especially students who come back and think they know the intersection. first you hit the danm thing and blow a tire, then you see some car doing an arcing turn right into your backside.

maybe if they circle fenced them or put huge trees in the middle it would be a slowdown for out of towners. until then i avoid them on snowdays.

cowboy 8 years, 5 months ago

Your right Carl , Im stubborn and igerant too ! There is a whole constituency of us igerants. Maybe older and wiser !

KS 8 years, 5 months ago

Maybe it is time for someone else to drive you, Carl?

Bradley Kemp 8 years, 5 months ago

If you blow a tire when you hit the curb around a roundabout, you've got bad tires.

I can see the roundabout at 19th and Barker right now. There's plenty of snow around it -- and exactly no tracks that would indicate that anyone had a) not seen it in the snow and driven into it or b) driven over the curb and blown a tire.

Bradley Kemp 8 years, 5 months ago

blue73harley:

Roundabouts are less expensive than conventional intersections with traffic signals, which is usually the only other option for such intersections.

The 19th and Barker intersection was slated for improvements because of the accident rate there, and the only options were a roundabout and traffic signals. The roundabout was cheaper to install and is cheaper to maintain.

jonas 8 years, 5 months ago

Nice to see the response is just and snipy and irritating as the original letter that inspired it.

KayCee 8 years, 5 months ago

"I do like to circle the one on 68 Hiway in Paola at highspeeds, multiple times. Stupid fun."

Yea, that one is OK for auto traffic, but the semi drivers cuss it, note the ruts on the outside of the curb. The ones who laid it out should have had a couple truckers help them design it. There was plenty of right of way they didn't use. Looks as though the traffic engineer took plans from the 'city' and placed it in the middle of a busy highway.

Ragingbear 8 years, 5 months ago

Old people shouldn't be allowed to drive anyways.

Scariest thing on the road is a 65 year old that is talking on a cell phone.

Actually, I believe after a certain age that a road test should be required every renewal period.

budwhysir 8 years, 5 months ago

Why not put alot of trees in the roundabouts, this would make them visable to everyone, oh wait wasnt someone already complaining about the amount of trees planted around here??

Maybe we could put up heated billboards that let us know where the road hazards are

Jillster 8 years, 5 months ago

I wonder about that, too...if the roundabout has really helped to decrease the number of accidents at the 19th and Barker intersection. All I know is that I never had any "close calls" while the 4-way stop was there, but I have had some heart-stopping moments making my way through the roundabout (usually when someone tries to cut ahead of me at the next point in the intersection after I've already entered the traffic circle). I can't imagine that there have been fewer accidents, but I'd like to see some firm statistics.

ScottyMac 8 years, 5 months ago

"The one just east of Massachusetts on 19th Street is a real help to westbound traffic."

Why, yes it is. You've noticed.

"Maybe we should just replace all the stoplights and stop signs with roundabouts; that way traffic would never have to stop. That would take care of the people who run red lights. "

Now you're beginning to see....

"There are probably other benefits, too, but when you are old, obnoxious and uninformed you just can't think of them all. "

Yes, there are many more.

I guess I'm still waiting to hear a worthwhile argument against them. The closest Carl comes to making a case is that they cost money. True. But so do accidents.

Without a doubt, roundabouts generally compare favorably costwise to the alternatives. Stop lights aren't cheap. Neither are traffic cops.

The point remains: Roundabouts are safer, more efficient, and cost-effective.

Carl's argument, like most arguments against them, boils down to this: Dadgummit, I just don't like them.

Well, should public policy be guided by data or Carl's stubbornness?

budwhysir 8 years, 5 months ago

I say shut down 19th street. Never noticed it was listed as a dangerous intersection but seems to be a focal point for this topic. Shut that road down, and build a new shopping mall with outlets that go to 23rd and 15 streets

Roger Foutz 8 years, 5 months ago

The biggest problem with roundabouts is that most people still treat them as four way stops. As time goes on people will learn to "merge and move" through them. I'm all for the ones we have in Denver. For my daily drive, the two roundabouts I go through saves me at least five to eight minutes compared to the four way stops that were replaced by these "traffic calming" devices.

Roger

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