10 June, 2009

"Make a Wish Wednesday"

My Wish: I wish people could figure out how to drive through a roundabout and then DO IT properly.

I work in a city which has over the past few years have embraced the benefits of traffic circles. They have become so fond of these circular death traps that they have added no less than 11 roundabouts to the region – 5 of these in less than a 3 mile stretch. I would consider myself fortunate if I’m able survive one of these, but I’m blessed enough to maneuver through the “dance of death” each and every day – 5 times each way, for a total of 10 times each day. I should really purchase more life insurance, because it’s truly a wonder how I manage to make it out of these alive.

According to the City’s website, the purpose of these traffic circles is to “improve road safety, manage increased traffic demand, and help improve air quality by eliminating unnecessary stops and idling”. Have these people actually driven through one of these and lived to tell about it?

In a perfect world, yes I am sure that these circular intersections could work fantastically; however for the “common sense impaired”, these roundabouts cause chaos and confusion and utter frustration to those of us unfortunate enough to either be following the common sense impaired or enter the traffic circle at the same time one of these lunatics have entered the wrong lane and aren’t quite coordinated enough to check their mirrors, maneuver a lane change – all while talking on their cell phones and driving a stick shift! But wait, if the uncoordinated doesn’t impede your process, you always can take your chances with the little old man that sits a the start of the traffic circle, signaling a left hand turn, patiently waiting for traffic to clear and when it doesn’t – he decides to make a run for it and turns left into oncoming traffic. The sad part, he is then so distraught at the honking of car horns and the uplifting of the middle fingers that he slams on his brakes while trying to figure out what went wrong.

In order to combat the insanity of these roundabouts, you would think I would just find an alternative route, but I’m not one to back down from a challenge. I love the adrenaline rush brought on by a successful combat mission. I now view my daily trips just as I would a game of Frogger – speed up going into them, move quickly going through them and just do what needs to be done and don’t hesitate. Oh and I can’t forget to anticipate the moves of the “common sense impaired” because I know they are out there – I’ve witnessed them in action and my name is on a few accident police reports to prove it.


I hate those damn roundabouts, but I do know how to navigate one, so I guess that's a good thing. :)

- JB

sounds like a good case for adding Roundabouts to Drivers Ed. We have one here, but it doesn't sound nearly as complicated as the ones in your town. It's only one lane all the way around and you can only exit/enter in 3 places.

For this location, it's better than the stop sign that was there for 1 side while the other 2 sides got to keep going, never giving a chance to enter traffic.

Be careful!!!

Good lord! Have these become a worldwide problematic phenomena?!

In Alicante they've sprouted up all over the place in the past couple of years, some of them are so big they even have traffic lights!


My gosh, we don't have those (yet) in Quebec thank gosh, because the way these people drive, it would be a disaster. I don't even like to drive on the highway...

hey! it was nice to read your blog.