I will be the first to admit that I am not expert on road roundabouts. I’ve only had experiences with a few of them, and not on a daily basis. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve seen any in Virginia.
A new school was built not too far from our huge subdivision. Therefore, a new road was also built to connect this school to the subdivision. The new road ended at an intersection with the subdivision road on the other side.
Traffic was a mess once the school opened, to the point where police were directing traffic at the intersection on school mornings. Everyone was complaining.
After many meetings and discussions, the powers that be decided a roundabout was what was needed for the intersection. Not a four-way stop or a traffic light, but a roundabout.
As I stated above, Virginia doesn’t have many roundabouts, especially in the tri-cities area. People here do not know how to use a roundabout. It’s a foreign concept to most of them. Problem one.
Problem two is the way the roundabout was built. Every roundabout I have seen or used has 2 lanes, one for merging and the other for driving around it. Not this one! It has one lane. It’s incredibly tiny. The way people use it, it never has more than 2 cars on it at once.
To enter it, there is a yield sign, but people don’t yield. They stop. It’s a dead stop. No trying to get into the roundabout until they see no one else is in it.
Every time I use it, I get so frustrated! I don’t know if it has solved the school traffic issue, but it has made the traffic on those roads move slower than ever. Instead of making traffic flow better, they made it worse in general.
I can’t help but wonder what they were thinking when they decided on a roundabout. A traffic light would have made more sense.
It’s a simple concept. If you’re going to build something to solve a problem, build it right or risk making the problem worse.