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Ode to the Roundabout

October 10, 2012

Like, uh, other things in your life, I’m betting that, while your first experience with a roundabout may not have been so wonderful, it will get better. My gamble is not as risky as you might think. It is backed by research in the United States that shows drivers actually warm up to the roundabout. They come to prefer them.

My first experience with a roundabout was in London, England about two decades ago. Honestly, they confused the heck out of me then. That was then, this is now. And now that they’re in Stouffville I think I’m their biggest fan.

What I like about them is that they keep traffic moving. None of this sitting at a red light wondering why you’ve stopped when no one is coming from the perpendicular direction. None of this worry about whether other drivers will run the yellow or even red light.

Research does confirm that roundabouts are safer, for drivers and for pedestrians.

Of course, there is also an environmental benefit. If we’re not idling at a red light, we’re not emitting useless and harmful emissions. So I tip my hat to the town planners and to town council for implementing Stouffville’s Roundabouts. I’d like to see a lot more too.


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