Monday, February 12, 2007

RoundAboutToCrash

I know roundabouts aren't really a US thing...So I can't expect much from my fellow American drivers when it comes time for them to maneuver them properly. I have the privilege of driving through one of the very few (very small) roundabouts here in Austin every morning. I have now seen 6 wrecks that have been caused by roundabout-challenged drivers. Typically drivers from the inner lanes don't exit the circle properly. Cutting across a lane of traffic to exit the circle without looking to see if the outer lane is clear will almost assuredly get your car dented.
Also..Staying in the outer lane and not turning off at the next exit puts you in prime wrecking position.

Roundabouts do take some getting used to, but I know it can be done. I drove through hundreds of roundabouts in England. And that was driving a 1980's mini standard in the opposite seat on the opposite side of the road, with switched pedals, operating the gear shift with my left hand. More recently I survived numerous roundabouts in Costa Rica where there were No road signs, speed limits or general driving prowess to be found. "Oh-Shit" moments were never hard to come by.

The roundabout is actually a very useful traffic phenomenon. Not to be confused with a traffic circle (which entering cars are controlled by stop signs and/or lights), the roundabout keeps traffic flowing nicely. When used properly, they control congestion and flow perfectly. When used improperly you sit in stopped traffic for 30 minutes waiting to get around the soccer mom from cedar Park who couldn't put down her cellphone long enough to pay attention to what she was doing before she tried to cut into exiting traffic and hit the car that was properly using the circle. Bitch.

4 comments:

Pookie Pie said...

I love the roundabouts we have in S. Austin. You're right, they are a great way to keep traffic flowing smoothly. But yes, people just need to learn how to pay attention and use them properly.

Jim said...

I love the titles of your blog entries. They catch your eye and truly convey the message conveyed in the body of the entry.

Don't really know how "The Doc" became "Jim". But, I don't know that much about the workings of computers, the internet, etc.

Am also interested in why your blogsite gives the message about this site containing secure and unsecure items. What is secure about this site. I have not planned to purchase anything here or divulge any financial or personal data. Just wondering.

StratoCade said...

My faves were the big 7-8 lane roundabouts I'd have to drive through in China... Your average soccer mom would pee her pants just at the thought. hehehehe

WolfieCR said...

The roundabouts you saw in CR were designed in the 60s when a politician went to Europe and saw they were great.........they were finally completed (the entire loop around downtown that is) sometime in the 90s.........by then the traffic load was about 3x what the roundabouts are designed for.....so now we are doing overpassses/underground tunnels in the on top/under the roundabouts to divert some traffic LOL

I am heading for Scotland/Ireland in two weeks.....and I cant wait to face a 'drive on the left' roundabout :)