The letter in last week’s Times that suggested the roundabout was a bad idea and chastised the Town Council for wasting money better spent on road repairs, has roused me from a long winter's sleep.
I am a huge fan of the concept when properly applied and I believe ours is a good example. It is simple, with good visibility, and well signed. I have driven it from every direction and at several different times of day and have never seen a problem. The one accident resulted in a citation for excessive speed, which is not the fault of the roundabout or its design.
I have lived in town for over 28 years and in the early days, the intersection functioned as well as any four-way stop. Then they built the Post Office, the library and Civic Center and the problems began. Changes were made and seemed to work for a time, then came the Town Hall and another set of changes which created one of the worst intersections ever conceived.
Even experienced drivers had issues. The result? We have our roundabout. Yes, many were not happy about it but, in a very short time, it seems to have won over a majority and traffic flows nicely through the area. When the new housing complex opens, it will surely show its real worth.
Roundabouts statistically improve the flow of traffic, reduce accidents and are cheaper to maintain than most other options. Approval ratings, after time to familiarize the drivers, are nearly 70 percent. When you consider that about a fourth of the population is against everything, that is pretty good. The best-designed roadways and intersections cannot prevent bad drivers from being bad and our town has its fair share of those who ignore stop signs and speed limits.