Roundabout A Bad Idea



I read with considerable dismay that ADOT is putting a traffic circle on the intersection of Highway 87 and Tyler Parkway. There is nothing "relatively new" about them -- they had many of them in New Jersey 60 years ago when I was growing up, and everyone hated them. They were a source of numerous accidents and "incidents."

I don't know who all ADOT has been talking to, but a family member from New Jersey tells me that over the years the state has been taking the traffic circles out and returning to standard intersections.

This seems to me to be a classic case of the theory sounds good, but humans don't always behave as predicted. What did happen was that the incoming traffic would not go into the left lane because if you did, no one would yield to let you back into the right hand lane so you could turn out of the circle again. I remember riding around the circles several times before the driver finally made a risky push to break back into the right lane so he could make his turn.

Think about it for a minute. As you drive in, you have to break into the left lane (if you are doing it as they describe) and then, when you are ready to turn, you have to break back into the right lane to turn out.

Even at relatively low speeds, it was a nerve-wracking maneuver. At the higher speeds common out there on the Beeline, the Tyler Parkway traffic will have a tough time breaking into the "flow." They might just as well have put "yield" signs on the Tyler Parkway sides of the "roundabout" because that is what it will likely amount to.

Sounds like a bad idea whose time has come -- again!

M. R. Decker, Payson

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