Archive for Monday, September 29, 2008

Traffic engineers hope drivers will come around on roundabouts

Islands’ safety, efficiency touted

Drivers approach and make their way through the roundabout at the intersection of Monterey Way and Harvard Road. There's little middle ground on roundabouts in Lawrence - residents seem to either love them or hate them. But traffic engineers say they can cut travel time and automobile emissions by keeping traffic moving, and they are also better from a safety standpoint.

Drivers approach and make their way through the roundabout at the intersection of Monterey Way and Harvard Road. There's little middle ground on roundabouts in Lawrence - residents seem to either love them or hate them. But traffic engineers say they can cut travel time and automobile emissions by keeping traffic moving, and they are also better from a safety standpoint.

September 29, 2008


More roundabouts planned for the city

If you've driven in Lawrence lately, you've noticed those curving, single-lane features before. And, love them or loathe them, more roundabouts are on the way. Enlarge video

Roundabout Before and After

This "before-and-after" video looks west down 19th Street, toward the street's intersection with Barker Avenue. Employees from the city's traffic division used a bucket truck -- one they normally use to change light bulbs in traffic signals -- to help them record this video of the intersection during the beginning of evening rush hour (just after 5 p.m.) on two different days: one, in June 2003, when the intersection had four stop signs controlling traffic; and a second, in the fall of 2004, after a roundabout had been installed at the intersection instead. We sped up the time on the city's video for each view, condensing several minutes into just over 30 seconds. David Woosley, the city's traffic engineer, says that that same number of vehicles are going through the intersection in each instance. The only difference? Before the roundabout, vehicles would get backed up on 19th, at times almost all the way to Massachusetts Street at the top of the screen. After the roundabout? Only a handful of vehicles came to a stop, yielding to traffic already in the circle. Woosley concedes that the roundabout isn't perfect - "it's a compact roundabout," he said, given the constraints of other properties nearby - but notes that traffic flow has improved and the number of accidents has fallen, especially collisions that involve injuries. Enlarge video

On the street

Have you gotten used to using the roundabouts in Lawrence?

There were roundabouts where I grew up, so I was already used to them. But I’ve noticed people here are still a little unsure about using them. I understand their frustration, but it’s kind of amusing to watch.

More responses

Reader poll
Lawrence has had roundabouts for a few years now. What's your feeling about the traffic calming devices?

or See the results without voting


Roundabouts are rolling into Lawrence with increasing regularity, adding to a roster of circular traffic patterns designed to improve vehicle flow, boost safety conditions and cut maintenance costs.

But many drivers still tend to detest them.

Chuck Soules has a theory about the opposition: It's all about control.

"You can drive through a traffic signal. You can drive through a stop sign. If you want to drive 75 (mph) on the highway, you can still do that," said Soules, director of public works for the city of Lawrence. "If you want to take that risk, you can do it. But a roundabout is a physical impediment. You can't drive straight through a roundabout, and you can't go faster than we designed that roundabout for.

"It's different with a roundabout, because we are controlling the intersection at that point."

With both the city and the Kansas Turnpike Authority moving ahead with such projects, the driving public soon will be steered into even more controlling situations.

That means drivers will get even more opportunities to learn how to navigate the passive features that are cheered by some, tolerated by others and lambasted by opponents who regard them as little more than confusing, expensive substitutes for good old-fashioned stop signs or traffic signals.

'Stupid' approach

"It's just stupid," said Marilyn Bittenbender, especially frustrated by a little-used "roundabout, about the size of a kiddie pool" at Legends and Research Parks drives in western Lawrence. "I just think that Lawrence so often makes the mistake of trying to apply solutions that are very applicable in big cities to a community of 100,000 people, and they're not as applicable here.

"I'm not a fan."

While Soules understands such criticism - "In a town of this size," he said, "you're not going to have 100 percent agreement" - he sees such condemnation as misdirected.

Many people complaining about roundabouts, Soules said, actually are frustrated by the devices' smaller offspring: traffic circles. Such circles often are dropped into the middle of an existing intersection - such as several along Harvard Road west of Monterey Way - simply to slow down traffic.

No other changes are made, and the circles on Harvard indeed are intended to frustrate drivers, Soules said: Not necessarily the people living in the neighborhood, but those who otherwise would speed through the residential area while avoiding perceived traffic congestion and signals on Sixth Street.

"The traffic circles, it's a lot harder to get around those," Soules said. "The turns are tighter. The speeds are lower, and that's on purpose."

Safety, efficiency sought

Roundabouts are different, he said, because their specific designs - with splitter islands to protect pedestrians, single lanes to handle traffic, raised "aprons" to accommodate large trucks and landscaped interior islands to attract attention - are successful in accomplishing several goals:

¢ Improve safety. While a four-way intersection typically has 32 "points of conflict" - places where vehicles could run into one another - roundabouts have only eight. And the conflict points they do have are less dangerous, because drivers being directed into the roundabout enter at an angle, rendering any collision less severe and, therefore, less likely to cause major injury or property damage.

The intersection of 19th Street and Barker Avenue had two or three injury accidents a year before a roundabout was installed, said David Woosley, the city's traffic engineer. "We don't have that history anymore," he said.

¢ Boost efficiency. While people argue that traffic signals allow traffic to move through intersections at regular speeds - compared with, say, 15 mph through a roundabout - the same people tend to forget that while they've been moving through, other vehicles have been forced to stop.

Inside a functioning roundabout, nobody stops. And from the outside, traffic slows to enter and stops only if necessary to yield to a vehicle already inside the roundabout. "Yield to vehicles on the left, but continue as normal for vehicles to the right," Soules said.

¢ Save money. Building a roundabout is cheaper than installing a traffic signal. Excluding the price of the pavement itself - all intersections need pavement, regardless of design - the only expenses triggered by a roundabout are for a stone wall around the inner circle, and the landscaping inside. That's about $50,000, Soules figures, compared with about $200,000 for traffic signals. And that's not including the price of electricity, maintenance and other expenses that pile up each year for signals.

Woosley adds that keeping vehicles moving through intersections also pays off for the environment, through spin-off benefits that don't show up in an engineering analysis.

"If you aren't stopping all the vehicles, they're using less fuel," Woosley said. "There are less emissions. There are less emissions from brakes and tires - all that stuff."

What's in a name?

Tom Vanderbilt, author of "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)," figures that drivers become more comfortable with roundabouts with increased familiarity: The more they see, and the more often they use them, the more likely they are to be more accepting.

The facts are pretty clear, he said. From his book:

¢ A properly designed roundabout can reduce delays by up to 65 percent over an intersection with traffic signals or stop signs. "Drivers do have to slow down as they approach a roundabout" he writes, "but under typical traffic conditions they rarely have to stop."

¢ About half of all accidents in the United States occur at intersections. And a study of 24 intersections converted from signals and stop signs to roundabouts determined that total crashes dropped nearly 40 percent, while injury crashes declined 76 percent and fatality accidents fell by about 90 percent. "There is a paradox here," Vanderbilt writes. "The system that many of us would feel is more dangerous is actually safer, while the system we think is safer is actually more dangerous."

In an interview, Vanderbilt noted that roundabouts had been around for ages, particularly in Europe, where he encountered his first while traveling in Italy.

"I just wrapped it up with what I thought was crazy nature of Italian driving," Vanderbilt said.

While Vanderbilt quickly learned the reasons behind the devices, and soon understood how they succeed in meeting their stated goals, he knows that such enlightenment hasn't dawned on everyone. He knows there are people out there frustrated at the very mention of the device and its variations throughout the United States - from the early days of confusion to the current times of proliferation and the almost steadfast resolve not to accept a roundabout's existence, no matter how well it might function.

Perhaps the roundabout needs an agent.

"It almost needs to be branded," Vanderbilt said, with a chuckle. "It may need a different name."

With more such projects slated for Lawrence in the coming years, there should be plenty of time to come up with alternatives.

Flash player

KDOT video on roundabouts


RedwoodCoast 8 years ago

OK, I'm tired of hearing people rant about the evils of roundabouts. I don't usually get so irritated about an issue, but act your frickin age, people. They aren't that difficult to use and they are safer than 4-way stops and cheaper than signals. European gimmicks, huh? Well get used to it. Geeeeez!

SMe 8 years ago

"You can't drive straight through a roundabout, and you can't go faster than we designed that roundabout for."Hey David, You wanna bet?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

The one I've had the most experience with is the one at 19th and Barker, and it works 1000% better than the 4-way stop it replaced. Sure, it requires drivers to know how they work and to pay attention for it to work properly, but the same is true of a 4-way stop, and many other traffic situations. BTW, I've personally driven a 26-foot Uhual-type box truck (the largest you can rent) through it with no problems, and observed fire dept. ladder trucks and 18-wheelers do the same.

Confrontation 8 years ago

The real problem is that people in Lawrence aren't smart enough to figure out how to use a roundabout. Most Lawrencians feel that they are always right, regardless of the rules.

nowandthen 8 years ago

I've never heard that you are NOT required turn signals when turning left. I don't care if you're going around a circle, or not. You're still turning left at an intersection.

Tom McCune 8 years ago

They work really well in England. (Even the "mini roundabouts" which are really just sort of unmarked intersections.) However, they have uniform traffic laws all over the country, and everybody is trained in how to drive them as a routine matter. The Brits think we are completely crazy for tolerating 4-way stops every 10 feet and red lights that make you stop and wait when nobody is coming for miles around in any direction.I agree with the Brits, but we could use better signage and better driver training here in the colonies.

bearded_gnome 8 years ago

two issues: pedestrians, and money!Inside a functioning roundabout, nobody stops. And from the outside, traffic slows to enter and stops only if necessary to yield to a vehicle already insideand, thus, no opportunity for pedestrians to safely cross at the roundie! boozo pompusly says we don't need to see across the roundies! oh, yes you do, if you're on two feet! the people pushing these say "we've got models saying pedestrians are more safe!" and AlGore has models that completely fail to account for worldwide precipitation! GMAB!*we have a third of our streets broken and maybe that's conservative! many of the streets planned for fixup soon, in the other article today, aren't among the worst in lawrence. some in charge down there want to chunk more money into roundies! really? uh, how about we fix streets before we put traffic constipating devices on them! note merrill loves this article. he is in part directly to blame for the money-into-roundies and not into fixing streets. he has posted on here that broken streets serve as passive traffic calming devices! that was with reference to 700-block of new york! we can't put in a mental health ward at lmh, ship off our seriously mentally ill, dangerously depressed, but hey, let's have a party and keep on throwing up these roundabouts! no, if that's their attitude downtown, I'm voting NO on question #1. that, in hopes of getting the city's priorities right! no more roundabouts. no more traffic speed cushions. no more traffic constipating devices. no more driving obstructions. no more needless complexities and added dangers for pedestrians. no on #1!

farmgal 8 years ago

The only one I've gone through (& have done so many times) is theone at 19th & Barker. I think it works great, unless you get behindsome clueless moron who thinks they must stop even if no one iscoming. It's not a hard concept. When I hear people like Marilyn B.say that she hates them, I just think she must not be too bright...It is a big improvement over the 4 way stop signs that were previouslyat that intersection.

packs_of_wild_dogzz 8 years ago

"People in Lawrence are stupid."I'm not sure that's entirely the case. It's just most of the people posting on these forums makes it seem that way.

storm 8 years ago

Well, it took two generations to convince the public that non-smoking should always be accepted in businesses so it may take that long for roundies to be accepted as the best way to control motor/bicycle/pedestrian traffic at 4-way stop intersections.

ksyellowrocker 8 years ago

Very true Jayhawkerjoel! It's because we live in the Me-me-me society.

ksyellowrocker 8 years ago

Oh and don't forget to put roundabouts at every insection along Mass, downtown to allieviate the gridlock! Just watch all the pedestrians attempt to cross the street! Oh my! Ouch!

cowboy 8 years ago

Stop putting things in the middle of the streets , period. Instead of spending your time designing roundabouts try engineering a street overlay that will last more than 9 or 10 months. Instead of trying to slow everything down in the city spend some time planning to get the traffic around and thru the city.The department should be named the traffic impedance department.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years ago

Read"City traffic idiots are trying to save their jobs and hides" No amount of pin-headed verbage will convince me that these faddish European devices are any use here. They are just plain dangerous, and someone will have to be killed or someone's house burn down before the nuts at city hall will be compelled to cease this crazy crusade to flummox the public about these expensive, stupid devices. In a city that is pleading poverty recently, it is absolutely criminal to allow these pinheads to proceed with these plans to shove these things down our throats. Soules is an idiot and the city commission, an already clueless and gutless consumer of fads and fashion, is responsible for this travisty on the driving public.

nut_case 8 years ago

If they are designed for proper traffic flow, they are not that bad. I travel through one daily and I'd actually much rather use that than a four way 'stop' which actually means 'four way slow down to about 5 mph, keep yacking on the cell phone, don't look to see if someone else may be entering the intersection, then punch the gas'But Lawrence has a history of traffic 'calming' as if creeping along in stop-and-go traffic or having to slam on the brakes to go around a pointless object placed in the middle of the road makes anyone calm.Bottom line, design them for flow and help ease traffic congestion and help us save some gas! If you're going to design them for 'calming' you can keep them!

classclown 8 years ago

LJW sure is pushing the roundabout story today. This is hardly the only article about them today. Plus an OTS question to boot.Did I forget to mark my calender? Is today national roundabout day or something?Will there be a parade?

number3of5 8 years ago

Anyone who believes you cannot drive faster through a roundabout than it is designed for is absoloutely crazy. I have seen it done. But as for the ones in Europe, they are much larger and designed to handle more than one car at a time.

tolawdjk 8 years ago

Look, Kids! Big Ben, Parliment!

tollef 8 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Eric Neuteboom 8 years ago

People in Lawrence are stupid.It's a roundabout. You go around it. Very simple. Inexpensive. And functional (need proof? watch the video above). I much prefer roundabouts to 4-way stops, where you constantly have to be on the lookout for either 1) the idiot who blows right through the stop sign or 2) the impatient jerk who just has to go (and has no knowledge of basic human decency, as in "wait your turn"). Some of these are flat out stupid - the one at Legends and Research Park for instance - but are by and large very efficient.

true_patriot 8 years ago

Roundabouts work great and they're easy to use. The biggest problem is drivers that seem incapable of understanding such a basic concept. The bad ones tend to either not yield to oncoming traffic or they tend to do the opposite - come to a complete stop when there isn't any oncoming traffic as if they were pulling up to a 4-way stop. They're far more efficient than 4-way stops, and in many cases they're as efficient as and much safer than traffic signals, as they reduce a typical 32 potential collision points in a traffic signal situation down to only 16 in a roundabout situation and they have the added benefit of engaging the drivers' attention to participate in the process, rather than waiting for a signal to tell them what to do next, and I do think drivers not paying attention while they drive or handle intersections is a huge problem in general today with the incredible density of vehicles moving around on our aging infrastructure.I didn't like roundabouts at first but now I see they're definitely the way to go. We just need a way get clueless drivers up to speed.

tonythetiger 8 years ago

I would say the engineers hope that people get used to them because there is little reason to believe that they will all be removed any time soon. I am not sure if it is a growing trend but I would say that it is not a universal thing across the United States yet. Of course it has been a while since I have been to the west but I think that the roundabouts and the habits of driving through them are a relative term.Oh well... I guess you will have to have a separate driving test to learn how to drive through Lawrence.

bmwjhawk 8 years ago

They suck because they are too small... not because we feel "controlled."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

"They are dangerous and they force cars into the curb perilously close to bicycles and pedestrians."That's really the fatal flaw of the traffic islands. It's really not that hard to maneuver past/through them at 30 mph, unless there is a bicycle attempting to use the gutter lane to which they are typically relegated. But since there is no gutter lane next to a traffic island, potentially dangerous conflicts do occur.

pinecreek 8 years ago

'Anyone who believes you cannot drive faster through a roundabout than it is designed for is absoloutely crazy. I have seen it done. But as for the ones in Europe, they are much larger and designed to handle more than one car at a time.'Uh, no they don't, they have them ranging from one lane to several lanes depending upon the need. In England, most roundabouts are one lane. The secret is that most of the traffic outside major cities is managed by roundabouts rather than traffic lights or stop signs. So traffic may not move very fast but it almost never comes to a complete stop either.

monkeyspunk 8 years ago

I thought they were "stupid" at first as well, but now I would kill for one at 9th and Lawrence at 8:00am and 5:00pm. That is one giant cluster flip four way stop.

sjschlag 8 years ago

I like roundabouts- so long as they are big enough to handle larger vehicles (such as trucks, buses and emergency vehicles) and the amount of traffic going through the roundabout. "Traffic Calming Devices" such as sorority girls on cell phones, craters in the street we call "potholes", giant crevasses in the concrete, sinkholes in the street that cause my car to leave the ground, those really annoying concrete block thingys on Illinois, Indiana and Mississippi streets, those median things on Louisiana between 19th and 31st streets, all of those, need to go and rarely calm me down. Slowing down traffic at only one point on a street is a bad idea, especially in this era of high fuel prices. It's not very efficient to slow down for a "traffic calming device" only to resume speed as soon as you clear the "device". Our city is broke. Please spend our money on useful projects, like filling in potholes, re-designing our drainage systems, developing an asphalt mix that lasts more than 9-10 months before needing replacement (nearly every other city has this, amirite?), hell, even designing a bus system that actually works, and last but not least, figuring out a way to time the stop lights in this town so that traffic flows through them.

geniusmannumber1 8 years ago

Those people complaining that these things are unnecessarily costly may have a point. Those complaining that they are not effective in a traffic-control sort of sense may have one, too.Those complaining that they are too dangerous, hard to use, confusing, or involve skills that Kansas drivers don't have should not be allowed to get behind the wheel of a car.

Sigmund 8 years ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says: "The one I've had the most experience with is the one at 19th and Barker, and it works 1000% better than the 4-way stop it replaced. Sure, it requires drivers to know how they work and to pay attention for it to work properly, but the same is true of a 4-way stop, and many other traffic situations."I completely agree, the one a 19th and Barker is brilliant and is 1000% percent better. But they are expensive and are not a solution everywhere they are used. Don't even get me started on the "traffic calming concrete blocks" all over town. They are dangerous and they force cars into the curb perilously close to bicycles and pedestrians.

Tony Holladay 8 years ago

I think for the most part roundabouts are a great thing. I'd much rather go threw around about than a fourway stop sign. Although I do agree with some that Lawrence does put a few in stupid places. And in some cases I do see them impeding the main traffic flow just so a few vehicles on the cross streets can access the main street easier. For instance the one way out west on Clinton Parkway. I believe that ones increases fuel consumption and emissions for the majority of traffic that flows threw. The majority of the traffic seems to flow eats and west.

4thgencowgirl 8 years ago

Roundabouts suck. I will drive 10 miles out of the way just to avoid one of those contraptions. The idea brought over from England. I don't live in England I live in America. My friend likes them because they make beautiful flower gardens. I am sorry a flower garden doesn't belong in the middle of traffic. I wish they would spend more time on potholes then roundabouts.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

"I'd like to know who thought it would be a good idea to put that narrow roundabout in on Clinton Parkway? Try getting a boat or camper through there without scraping something."It's been engineered so that any competent driver can maneuver a trailer through there-- if you can't do it, maybe you should consider some sort of driver training."And quit planting stuff in them that's so tall you that you can't see the other traffic in the circle!"It's there for a reason-- the only thing you need to concern yourself with upon entering the roundabout is the traffic already in circle approaching from your immediate left, to which you are required to yield. What's happening on the opposite side is an irrelevant distraction.

geniusmannumber1 8 years ago

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. You never go clockwise through a roundabout; that is, you always go right when you enter. No need for signal there. Once in the roundabout, you have to go right, no matter which direction you're exiting the roundabout, so a signal's not really going to tell you anything. In any event, roundabouts are not hard. If there's someone in it, yield. If there's not, then go.

countrygirl 8 years ago

I'd like to know who thought it would be a good idea to put that narrow roundabout in on Clinton Parkway? Try getting a boat or camper through there without scraping something. And quit planting stuff in them that's so tall you that you can't see the other traffic in the circle!

packs_of_wild_dogzz 8 years ago

This is all funny. Panties bunched up everywhere.

nowandthen 8 years ago

There's a circle-- CIRCLE in the roooaaad!! CIRCLE IN THE ROOOAAAADD!!! What I do?!?! Can't go straight!!! Circle IN the rooooooaaaaad!!!!! Where I go?!?!

geniusmannumber1 8 years ago

"Also - is there some law against using turn signals before entering a roundabout!"No, but why on earth would you need to?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

Turn signals aren't necessary if everyone understands and follows the basic rules-- As you enter, look to your left, and if you can't enter without risking a collision with a vehicle approaching from your left, yield, and wait to enter until it's clear enough to enter the roundabout.But as has been mentioned, if someone is exceeding the speed limit of 15 mph inside the roundabout, it can be difficult for someone wishing to enter in front of them to gauge whether or not it's safe to so. Often, when a roundabout is particularly busy, I'll turn on my right turn signal as I approach my exit, just so the driver wishing to enter in front of me know they don't need to wait.

kustudent123 8 years ago

Roundabouts are great when they are used correctly. A perfect example of this is the roundabout at 19th and Barker. It works perfectly in that intersection. They are rediculous at other intersections, such as the one out west on Clinton Parkway. The current city code requires that a roundabout be installed when a collector and arterial meet. This is a rediculous policy that needs to be changed, and roundabouts should be installed on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes a simple stop sign is much better than a roundabout. This would save an enormous amount of money and be much more efficient.

Poon 8 years ago

She'll be comin' around the roundie when she comes.She'll be comin' around the roundie when she comes.

royalpain 8 years ago

What a bunch of bitter has-beens chirping in on this subject! Roundabouts are here to stay - along with cell phones, microwave ovens and adult diapers. You old fogies are killin' me here. Most of you are too old and blind to drive anyway. The research doesn't lie. Things change - get over it! I suppose you still believe that smoking is cool and seatbelts should stay tucked away underneath your car seats? If you don't like them, then re-route your Little Rascals and your walkers with fuzzy tennis balls on the bottom to another intersection that has stop signs or traffic lights. Good luck getting your wrinkled bottoms across those streets!

Joel Hood 8 years ago

genius - if you approach a roundabout from the west and the other car approaches from the east, if he goes straight, or turns right there is no problem. But, if he turns left at the intersection, that you are going straight through, it can lead to an accident. Seems like most accidents can be avoided if both drivers are aware of where the other one is going. If you know he is turning left, you wait before entering the roundabout, otherwise, there is no need for you to stop and hold up traffic.

storm 8 years ago

The guy behind you is not honking at you, instead he's honking because it's faster to blow through a stop-sign and generally hates roundabouts. Besides, turn signals aren't required in roundabouts, lawfully. Same as an intersection, you merge when an approaching vehicle or bicycle starts its turn, or when the pedestrian has reached the other side.

Joel Hood 8 years ago

genius - turn signals should be on before entering the roundabout. In my prior example, you do not need to yield if the other driver goes straight through or turns right. Of course it isn't difficult, but it is quite frustrating when the guy behind you is blarring his horn because you yielded unnecessarily since you had no way of knowing where the approaching car was headed. And, I have been cut off plenty of times when I was in the roundabout first and the other car did not yield.

BigPrune 8 years ago

I guess we know where our money will be going if we pass this sales tax. Roundabouts cost as much as stop lights. The guy who said they only cost $50,000 is full of it. He forgot the engineering expense, the storm water drain pipes - typical politician, I mean employee of the taxpayer. He can't wait for that sales tax to pass. Let's have a final figure on the 19th & Barker roundabout- wasn't it $700,000?Vote No!

MattressMan 8 years ago

Roundabouts are here (not just in Lawrence) to stay, it's something that people will just have to get used to. For the last several years the little drivers license booklet that comes with your renewal test even points out the fact that "roundabouts are coming to Kansas"Coach_Eric (Anonymous) says: People in Lawrence are stupid.Couldnt have said it any better coach.

monkeyspunk 8 years ago

twosides said:"If you don't think so look at 17th between Illinois and Indiana. Any of those things in West Lawrence?"Yes, drive from Harvard and Kasold west on Havard to Wakarusa, you will drive through at least 4 round-abouts.

DrivingManiac 8 years ago

I cannot wait until the days go by and Lawrence grows to a much larger size than it already is. Does anyone really believe that the roundabouts are nearly as adaptable to growing traffic trends? No... not at all.Not to mention the traffic engineers here in Lawrence are about the most incompetent bunch there is. with the minor exception of Kentucky and Tennessee are there ANY timed traffic lights that permit for continuous and optimal driving? This talk about reduced pollution does NOT make up for the abysmal traffic lights.Don't even get me started on the far-to-often 3 way stop signs. If a road is going 40-45 MPH and the intersecting road is 25 MPH, I don't even understand why the heck someone would have the stupidity to put a 3 way stop sign there.Lawrence, it's time for you guys to spend some real money on real solutions and real employees before people go around cutting down these 3-way stop signs and doing everything they can to undermine the pathetic roundabouts.

TGar 8 years ago

It's okay, Marilyn. We're not a fan of you, either.

Joel Hood 8 years ago

I can take or leave roundabouts. But, I absolutely detest drivers who give you NO eye contact as they barrell toward a roundabout intersection. Here is what invariably goes through my mind each time this happens. "...does he see me? ...I was here slightly ahead of him? why isn't he slowing down? ...should I go first? ...oh well, I'll let him go first to be safe. ...why is that guy behind me honking and giving me he finger!?!?!"Everyone seems to think that no one else knows how to navigate through these intersections, but how can you when other drivers are oblivious to your presence? Also - is there some law against using turn signals before entering a roundabout!

countrygirl 8 years ago

Really bozo--just how many wide trucks/trailers have you driven? Ask the people who go through that one on the way to the lake how much they like it. And I am referring to traffic coming from the left. Some people fly through those things and I'd rather not pull in front of them.

Chris Ogle 8 years ago

The one at 19th and Barker seems to work well. At first I didn't like it, but now find it useful. . They are costly, and are city is broke, so I would also support plain-old Stop signs.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

"Anyone who believes you cannot drive faster through a roundabout than it is designed for is absoloutely crazy."This is hardly unique to roundabouts, but you can certainly blow through a 4-way stop much faster than you can a roundabout."But as for the ones in Europe, they are much larger and designed to handle more than one car at a time."At the Barker and 19th intersection, there is no room to put more lanes into the roundabout, but given that all roads going into it are only two lane, the single roundabout lane is quite adequate.

Jaylee 7 years, 11 months ago

why is nobody pissed about the 1st voting question to raise taxes when so much money is going into roundabouts and unneccessary islands seperating sides of streets with minimal non-local traffic (area on kasold between peterson and farmer's turnpike most blatant example that comes to mind)

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