Letter: Round and round we go
As a concerned driver living in Rifle and a citizen from the “green and pleasant land of roundabouts,” the United Kingdom, I would like to voice my opinion on the changes to the south roundabout in Rifle on Taughenbaugh Boulevard and about roundabouts in general. One word can describe the re-striping; absurd.
The left lane that used to flow traffic around the roundabout worked, it’s as simple as that. Those people in the state who engineer these roundabouts, then mess them up with their re-striping simply need to go somewhere where roundabouts have been used for years, study how they work, how traffic flows comfortably around them and why they work. Roundabouts work and when designed and implemented correctly add to the flow of traffic through and around cities, towns, on-ramps and off-ramps. If you have two lanes coming into the roundabout you must have two lanes continuing around.
I must however, make three very important points. First, there needs to be clear a view of oncoming traffic all the way around the roundabout, which currently is not available when heading south to this particular roundabout. OK, I hear people say that you need to slow down and check what is coming, but that defeats the purpose of the roundabout. If there is nothing coming around the roundabout you should be able to move smoothly into it without having to slow or stop. You cannot see what’s coming around it when there are plants and cows in the way … let’s move them to somewhere where they do not hinder your view of oncoming traffic.
Next, drivers need to indicate by signaling their intentions all the way around the roundabout. This would make driving and navigating any roundabout easier. Even if it makes sense to you what you are doing or about to do, just let everyone else know what your intentions are as it will make the flow of traffic smoother.
Lastly, mark the lanes themselves with the appropriate arrows to indicate which lane does what and goes where. It is easier to keep looking at the road than to scan for standing road signs; the new roundabout in Carbondale is a good example of lane signage. Get those lanes marked before entering the roundabout too, so drivers can get into the correct lane in advance.
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