More About Roundabouts

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Here are some excerpts illustrating avoidable problems, from the article ‘Roundabouts spreading like Kudzu across South Carolina, despite some opposition‘, from the Post and Courier, May 20,2017:

  • The first modern roundabout in the tri-county Charleston area was built in Mount Pleasant in 1998, on Mathis Ferry Road to accommodate the I’On subdivision. A Post and Courier article at the time described the roundabout as having “appeared suddenly like something out of space” and said motorists “don’t know what to make of it.” —- ADoNA comment: Yes, unfortunately this response is typical because of the fact that inadequate (usually zero) information is given to local communities when roundabouts are first built in any area, and even the information that is given — even in State Drivers Manuals — is inevitably incomplete in relation to global best practices.
  • The town has more than a dozen roundabouts now and more are planned, including a controversial multi-lane version at Coleman, Ben Sawyer and Chuck Dawley boulevards. “Multi-lane roundabouts are still safer (than traditional intersections), but they are complex,” Harrelson said.  —- ADoNA comment: Complex?  This most certainly does not need to be the case, and in any event, if people how to drive correctly on roundabouts (see our main page on the subject) then the alleged complexity would evaporate.
  • A 2014 travel guide, Moon Carolinas & Georgia, warned readers who visit Hilton Head of “a confusing, crazy British-style traffic circle called Sea Pines Circle.” —- ADoNA comment: Well, we are a bit speechless at this ridiculous assertion.  Britain was the country that first invented ‘modern roundabouts’ back in the 1960s and has, with the resultant wealth of knowledge, taught all British drivers how to drive around roundabouts properly!  And that is what is missing from the current American use of roundabouts.  Treating drivers like idiots results in generations of people who fulfill the mission,and through no fault of their own, drive like idiots!  Britain is also one of the two countries that repeatedly lead the pack in road safety by having lower/better road death rates each year — rates that are about one-fourth of the rates in the USA.  Maybe this would be a good time to take notice and save lives?
  • An interesting fact in the article is:   Just 20 years ago, there were fewer than 200 roundabouts in the nation, and one in South Carolina had just been completed on Hilton Head Island, according to Kittelson & Associates, an engineering firm that maintains a roundabouts database. Today, there are more than 3,200 nationwide…. [Go to the article]

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