Letter to the Editor

Take a closer look at roundabout

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

To the Editor:

Iím not writing in absolute opposition to the idea of a traffic circle at the Cascade School intersection. I do want to raise some concerns.

Traffic circles are inherently tricky, requiring a particular driving mindset and skills. Be aware that young, inexperienced drivers would be trying to navigate it safely.

Imagine a 16-year-old driver coming from the Shelbyville direction headed to the new high school, and another coming from Bell Buckle headed toward the middle school to drop off a sibling. They would be entering the traffic circle on perpendicular trajectories, both wanting to go straight through.

In the situation I have described, one of the drivers has to slow down at a carefully calculated rate to avoid a collision, and there is no clear rule as to who is supposed to do it. Experienced drivers are accustomed to giving way at a stop sign intersection to the car coming from the right, but there is a learning curve when neither car actually stops.

When one car slows enough to let the other go through, it can be sudden and thereby create a potential hazard due to the car behind them.

Iíve driven and motorcycled though a lot of traffic circles in US cities and in Mexico. Iím a good, experienced, mature driver, and traffic circles always make me nervous. They are especially hazardous if one is on a motorcycle.

Again, Iím not expressing opposition to the idea. However, letís be judicious about this. Would a 4-way stop with flashing lights work? Would an actual red/green traffic light be safer?

Convenience is not our priority around schools, and complaints donít determine the decision. Nothing at all matters but safety.

There is no perfect solution to traffic flow at an intersection of two narrow roads where three separate schools are located. Letís please pause and try to determine the very best possible solution.

John Anderson

Bell Buckle

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