Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Roundabouts saving lives, fuel

In the interests of safer streets, I share this note from friend Bob Buckman up in Lafayette, La:
There was an interesting segment on CBS Sunday Morning the other day about a town in the Netherlands that replaced all its four-way intersections with roundabouts. I've been preaching them as a means of saving time and fuel, but it turns out they also save lives. The town councilwoman responsible for the change said before the roundabouts, two to four people were killed a year at each intersection because of people running red lights. Since the roundabouts, zero fatalities. She theorized it's because people HAVE to pay closer attention going through a roundabout. I can corroborate that with my own experience navigating them in Belgium, France and England during my R&R. I can't think of a better use of all that stimulus money that's being squandered in make-work, pork-barrel projects. But who listens to me?
Makes you feel good about all our new roundabouts in and around Miami, doesn't it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The point of the Sunday Morning segment was the lack of signage at the roundabout that was eliminating the traffic fatalities, not the roundabouts. The elimination of explicit instructions (stop, yield, etc.) caused drivers and bicyclists and pedestrians to approach the intersection more alert and aware of their surroundings, rather than following a traffic control device. During the segment I saw several bicyclists crossing the road with simple hand signals, and never checking to see if traffic was stopping or yielding.