If you really want to instill fear into the motoring public, mention a roundabout.
|Read the article here.|
Holy shit!!! You'd think the world was ending in an apocalyptic, horrific, fiery ball of destruction.
This intersection is currently a Northbound and Southbound street (53rd) with Eastbound and Westbound traffic stopping at stop signs. The speed limit on 53rd is 45 mph.
The comments in the local paper make for an interesting read to say the least.
- "I developed an extreme hatred of roundabouts driving in Bend. The Europeans can keep them."
- "The engineer study on this project shows an increase in emissions by placing a roundabout. I was at the meeting when this was discussed. We are not in Europe folks. If you want this move there."
- "Can you imagine four cars traveling at 45 MPH entering this proposed interesection at the same time? Haven't we learned from the fiasco out on the bypass not to listen at all to any advice given the bicycle and pedestrian committee?
Does anyone in Corvallis government have a lick of common sense? Put a (cheaper) stoplight there and call it good."
Way to bury your head in the sand and believe me, there are plenty of stoplights in Corvallis, in fact another one was just installed down the street and the last thing we need is another traffic light. All of them are actuated by sensors, none of them are timed and I suggest the city change their motto to
"Welcome to Corvallis, Home of the Stoplight. Enjoy your Stay".
And where are these people getting this idea that the speed limit will remain at 45 mph entering a roundabout?
I am going to speculate, prejudge and stereotype here. I suspect that the majority of drivers opposed to roundabouts have never used them, don't know how to use them and if they have, panicked and used them incorrectly. Maybe they are simply terrified of having to finally use their turn signals.
Although there is now graduated licensing in Oregon, years ago once you turned 16 years of age, passed a written and short driving test you received your license. So this makes me believe that the majority opposed are over the age of 40, 50 or 60 and have never been re-tested or looked into further driver education. These people have been driving for 25 to 50+ years without ever having to better themselves or their driving behaviour. As roundabouts are a fairly new concept in the US have they recently been added to the Oregon Driving Manual. Now I know that as motorcyclists we are always learning, taking riding courses, signing up for clinics and track days to improve our skills. Right?
These same people are simply unfamiliar with roundabouts, afraid of change and they aren't willing to open their minds, research, read and educate themselves on the benefits or how roundabouts work.
When Brandy and I went to the town meeting last year the engineers mentioned a poll they took when proposing a roundabout in Albany, a neighbouring town. They said the proposal was faced with 90% opposition, but after it was installed and residents became familiar with it a second poll revealed a complete change of heart and the majority polled actually liked it.
New, unfamiliar and change is difficult for people to accept, but you see these opposed to change accept it everyday. Technology is a perfect example, computers were unknown and unfamiliar but now these people who hate change are reading the newspaper online, commenting and participating in real time chat and video conversation on Skype. Facebook, bah! That will never catch on. Cellphones are still not accepted by many, but those who were reluctant at first are not only talking on cellphones they are texting, surfing the web and checking email and updating their facebook status all at the same time and some even while driving.
The reason I post this is because I am curious how you motobloggers in other States of the US, in Canada and around the world think of roundabouts and of the licensing process in your municipality, district, state, province.
Which do you prefer?