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By Bill Woody
December 15, 2008
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Rex Fleming, project engineer for the Kansas Turnpike Authority, demonstrates using the roundabout at exit 202 while leaving town toward Topeka.
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Just make sure you're doing 5 mph like the driver in the video and there aren't any other cars in your general area at the time. Speaking of video, do we get charged more from Sunflower if we watch this video due to bandwith useage?
Coming into the roundabout from the East (KC) is a pain if there is anyone approaching from the left of the roundabout. Half the time they stop and I have to yield and wait. Game days will be a nightmare. The engineer needs to be fired. They need to admit this was a mistake and replace this roundabout. Dumbest use of a roundabout ever.
The fact there is a news story about it denotes the obvious confusion readily associated with this abomination. As a person you regularly uses the 202 to exit home on towards Wichita this thing is a catastrophe. This is the only spot on the KT that I know that has employed this traffic obscenity and my question is simple, "Why?" Why would you do this, and don't tell me to ease traffic flow because I don't remember it being a problem before– ridiculous. I can't wait until there is a layer of ice on that bad boy and the exit starts looking like a merry-go-round on ice...
Since roundabouts are supposedly less expensive to build, does this mean we will be getting a cut on our toll anytime soon?
I just want to personally thank Rex Fleming for showing us how to use a round-about.
Oh my god! The drama is too much. Perhaps the perception people from other states have of us as tractor driving hillbillies isn't as far off the mark as I thought?
There's been a upsurge in the use of roundabouts in the past 10 or 15 years. I'm guessing that somewhere some engineer thought they were neat and, supposedly, they are good traffic control tool for dealing with congestion and mitigating the possibility of collision. This may be. The problem with many of these roundabouts, however, is that they aren't big enough. As I understand it, there is no roundabout standard in the U.S. as they fell out of favor and are only recently being explored again as a traffic control method so engineers have looked to Europe and particularly the UK. There's nothing wrong with this on its face but there is a problem when you consider that the overall length limit of a commercial vehicle in the UK is 18 meters or roughly 59 ft. This limit is for a "low loader". The length limit of a regular tractor trailer is 15.5 meters or 50 ft. That's overall length which is 3 feet shorter than the average trailer length in the U.S. of 53 feet. When you consider the average fleet truck out there, with their 53 foot trailer attached, is approaching 80 feet in total length I think the problem becomes evident. You're asking a vehicle to safely work its way around a roundabout that quite possibly was designed for a vehicle Because the trailer tracks to the inside of a turn the size of the roundabout is critical. Having spent a decade driving big rigs across the country my experience has been that most of the "modern" roundabouts were not engineered with commercial vehicles in mind and the result is damage to the roundabout, damage to the commercial vehicle, or both. I can't speak to this particular roundabout. There are numerous other little roundabouts in Lawrence though that present just this type of risk and from what I understand the proposal is to put more in. I just hope the engineers and city planners start taking things like necessary commercial vehicle traffic into consideration before we end up with a grid of impenetrable roundabouts and we wonder why the moving van can't deliver our household goods to our new homes.
Oops. ...designed for a vehicle substantially shorter than our commercial vehicles.
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December 15, 2008
Entering town via the roundabout December 15, 2008
Exiting town using the roundabout December 15, 2008