Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I'll be the roundabout....

If you have never had the privilege of driving in New Jersey then you are unaware of the thrill of driving through one of our traffic circles. A traffic circle is where some highway engineer decided it would be a good idea to bring the traffic from several major highways together and dump them into a circle of 2-3 lanes. The idea is that you come in one entrance and exit another or you go around again like the Griswolds in European Vacation. Look kids, there is Big Ben and parliament, Look kids there is Big Ben and parliament.....

Now the Garden State has been slowly eliminating these hazards over the past 20 years to the point where we are down to about 35 of them left. I recall that about 15 years ago we had 50 or so.

Now New Jersey decides that a circle wasn't a bad idea after all. In this article it appears that traffic circles are making a comeback as roundabouts. Roundabout is of course a British word meaning "Traffic Circle". This is like saying that we are eliminating trucks but we've heard of these great new vehicles called "lorries".

According to the article, roundabouts are smaller and harder to enter.

Great. Great idea. A traffic circle that is harder to get into.

The problem with traffic circles is that they back up traffic! Did we forget that? Hellllllo.

Some of the better traffic circles have already been removed, like the airport circle in Pennsauken. You would think that maybe there would be an airport nearby, but noooo.

This one was thrilling because of the many overpasses you couldn't see the traffic coming at you as you approached the entrance and it was located so that all the traffic from Philadelphia flowed into it. It connected at least 4 major roads as well. Now it's a reasonable system of overpasses and traffic lights.

Please just get rid of the traffic circles so we can start working on making left turns.

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