Last post on Dec 09, 2013 at 4:28 PM
You are in the Automotive News & Views
What is this discussion about?
#21574 of 22406 Re: Roundabouts? [xrunner2]
Mar 25, 2013 (10:08 am)
The only reason you'd be against roundabouts is because they improve traffic flow, improve safety, and reduce revenues. Who would be against that you ask?
Well, #1 would be Insurance companies and their paid ilk like the IIHS.
#2 would be government/politicians paid by #1.
After all how can you implement red light cameras if you don't install red lights and have roundabouts instead?
I'd like to point out that the IIHS study on red light cameras was deeply flawed. First of all, they deliberately excluded intersections where it was known that accident rates had gone up the highest since red-light cameras were added.
Secondly, they generally took data from different cities without regard to which and what intersections had cameras (unless it had a much higher accident rate post cameras), and they didn't know how many cameras were in place.
Thirdly, they took accident data from decades old years for "pre-camera" accident rates and fatalities and injuries, and took current modern "post camera" data. Never mind that vehicles have become much safer over the years and accidents have gone down in general. Also, they took advantage of locations where new freeways had since been built in that decade, which would lessen the traffic going through major arterials where intersections used in the data were being compiled.
Fourth, they made lame pathetic excuses for increases in rear-end accidents, such as they don't believe the accidents were the fault of the cameras. Although I understand the argument that following too closely, and not paying attention results in not being able to stop in time behind someone slamming their brakes for a yellow light, they fail to realize the cause of someone slamming their brakes!
Lastly, the IIHS fails to give me a good reason why intersections that don't have cameras would fail to have an equal amount of drivers that follow too closely and don't pay enough attention.
Shows that money can manipulate data.
#21575 of 22406 Re: Roundabouts? [andres3]
Mar 25, 2013 (11:19 am)
In general I like roundabouts, even though most drivers seem to have no idea how they work. But the one big issue I see with them is hindering emergency vehicles.
One such roundabout was put down a couple of years ago at one of the busiest intersections in a neighboring town. It's very close to both a fire station and the police station. It's in an area with no other major through streets anywhere close. So fire trucks and police cars will need to use that intersection a lot, as well as ambulances traversing that part of town. Other major intersections in my area have the traffic signal overrides for use by emergency vehicles. No such thing with a traffic circle... the emergency vehicles WILL have to slow down to a crawl to navigate the circle.
Bad enough with one traffic circle, but some lame-brain city engineer designed a major street a few miles away with 3 traffic circles within 2 blocks. High density area, with stores, hotels, apartments (senior apartments at that). Maybe they were thinking, "Let's make it as difficult as possible for emergency vehicles to get through that street!" Fortunately, I'm not aware of any other case like that in my area.
#21576 of 22406 Re: Roundabouts? [andres3]
Mar 25, 2013 (11:31 am)
I think it is a fuel mixture problem. This morning I was behind an older A4 - late 90s, and it too was belching smoke on acceleration. This smoke had a gray tint to it, which to me could also suggest head gasket issues. But I have seen several later model cars with black smoke upon hard throttle. I would assume visible smoke on a modern car would be a problem at the testing station. I am glad my old car is too old to test
MB drivers tend to be pretty conservative and don't usually attract attention - even AMG cars seem to attract a more subdued driver than M and S/RS cars.
In my neighborhood, the annoying BMW people are those who drive aggressively, and never use signals.
#21577 of 22406 Re: Roundabouts? [backy]
Mar 25, 2013 (2:41 pm)
In general I find all the anti-roundabouts arguments to be weak sauce:
1) Emergency vehicles - do we really want to design our roadways for the benefit of vehicles that use those roadways less than 1% of the time? Added to that, smart ambulance drivers don't "blow" through intersections anyway on reds. They come to a stop, and cross carefully.
2) Visually impaired pedestrians - see #1
3) Pedestrians in general - feel free to design sidewalks the way you want, but the roads are for cars.
4) Bicycles - they don't pay for road or highway construction costs/taxes/fees, so why consider them?
It's time we do things for the greater good.
#21578 of 22406 Re: Roundabouts? [andres3]
Mar 25, 2013 (3:24 pm)
Emergency vehicles - do we really want to design our roadways for the benefit of vehicles that use those roadways less than 1% of the time?
No, you're right. We certainly don't want to design roads to make it easier/faster for vehicles for which every second could mean the difference between life or death. We want to design them so folks like you can get to work/play/home a little sooner, even if it means emergency vehicles have to slow down.
How silly of me to think otherwise.
#21579 of 22406 Re: Roundabouts? [andres3]
Mar 25, 2013 (3:29 pm)
I don't see these vehicles blowing through normal intersections either - if anything, ambulances and firetrucks in my town barely speed at all, maybe an overly hotheaded cop will speed. But my area probably isn't the best for roundabouts anyway, due to the high price of land, and stubborn unskilled drivers who will likely refuse to learn (I suppose that could be a general American problem).
If these road structures are OK with emergency responders in other first world locations, they should be OK here too.
#21580 of 22406 Rotaries, not Roundabouts.
Mar 26, 2013 (2:21 am)
nice levelheaded response to somewhat gratuitous comments, A3.
USA people please take note the word is ROTARIES not "roundabouts". (Roundabouts go in the opposite direction.)
years ago there were 3 rotaries within a mile at the bottom of the Rt 2 (state highway) hill.
amazing speeds were possible through there. one time years ago, a state cop was particularly impressed after chasing a local citizen up the hill after the rotaries.
locally the # of rotaries is increasing lately, with bigger/faster ones long-gone or being removed and smaller/slower ones replacing troublesome/smaller intersections.
a couple weeks ago, after getting lost in a wacky cow-path new-england city with roads blocked due to road-race, i drove around a rotary about 10 times while waiting for the GM-onstar to compute/tell me the directions ! considerate or inconsiderate?! *you* make the call!
#21581 of 22406 Re: Rotaries, not Roundabouts. [elias]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Mar 26, 2013 (4:40 am)
Well, if you believe Wikipedia, "rotaries" are out of fashion and the "precise" term among the pros for new traffic circles is "modern roundabout" (meaning it's designed to meet currently accepted design criteria).
"Rotary" is mostly a NE thing.
Mar 26, 2013 (10:07 am)
This morning saw a typical looking older driver in an Escalade pull right out in front of a DeLorean (!) that was cruising up a 35mph arterial. How did the bastard not see a DeLorean? Luckily, the smaller car was enable to maneuver around the motorized obesity that should require a license endorsement to operate.
Also saw a young woman in a Tesla S with a phone to her ear - pretty sure those have Bluetooth standard. Should be a nice 4 figure fine for even the first offense. I bet that's not bootstrap wealth at play...
#21583 of 22406 Re: Rotaries, not Roundabouts. [elias]
Mar 26, 2013 (10:10 am)
Hey look kids, there's Big Ben, there's Parliament!