About those roundabouts . . .
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Feb 18, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

About those roundabouts . . .

St. Marys Journal Argus

Dear Editor:

In response to all the negative comments about the roundabouts that have been installed outside of town, I would like to say: “It’s not the roundabouts. It’s the drivers!”

The worst offenders, I find, do not know what to do when approaching or going through a roundabout. If you are in doubt about how to drive in or around a roundabout, please do some research and find out!

Here is the definition of a “Yield” sign, according to the latest Ontario driver’s handbook: “A Yield sign is a triangle with a white background and a red border. If means you must let traffic in the intersection or close to it go first. Stop if necessary and go only when the way is clear.”

Now that we have that cleared up, when approaching a roundabout with a Yield sign, if there are no cars coming at you around the circle or the roundabout is empty — no cars in sight anywhere — KEEP GOING!

There have been many times (I have seen and, unfortunately, been stuck in) that you have five or six cars in a row, and the first one comes to a full and complete stop — at an empty roundabout. No cars in sight, anywhere! . . . forcing all the other drivers to stop as well.

As well as being extremely frustrating, this defeats one of the main reasons for installing the roundabout — that it provides a smooth flow of traffic, without so much starting and stopping, thus reducing the wear and tear on the vehicle (it’s cheaper for all of us!).

I would also like to say that you do not have to slow down to 5 km/h, either. Keep up a smooth, consistent flow of traffic.

The other point that I have noticed is other cars that approach the roundabout way too fast from the highway sides of the roundabout, not giving themselves enough space to stop for the cars that are already making their way around, even if they did manage to see them in time. You still have to look to see if anyone is coming, even if it is 5 a.m., and you’re “pretty sure” that nobody is there.

Slow down. Both vehicles are travelling in the same direction. In the event of a collision, the injuries “should” be less than in a 90-degree crash (a regular intersection). But I don’t want to test that theory, though, thank you.

It’s a simple system. Yield or go. Four different spots around a circle. Nothing there? Go! Something there? Wait. Once in the circle, keep going. Signal, and exit where you need to.

The only improvement that I can see is to cut back the trees between the end of Queen Street (by the Wildwood roundabout) and the number 7 Highway approach from Wildwood. There’s a bit of a blind spot there . . . for the speed demons. Other than that, roundabouts are the way to go.

It’s empty? Keep going!

See ya ’round :)

Dave Lotte

St. Marys

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