Editor, The Times:
Re: Proposed Roundabout
I have been following the articles about the roundabout but I like to do my research based on multiple sources.
You would think from all the negative reviews that most people are against the proposed roundabout. However, in my circle of friends and family that is not evident. I would like to put forth my views which I know will resonate with many people in the valley.
I believe the minister of highways is concerned with safety. Roundabouts are in use worldwide and are becoming more common for good reason.
Fact – The geometric configuration of roundabouts, as compared to two-way stop control and signalized intersections, promotes the reduction of severe accidents such as right angle, head-on and left turn head on. My son has been hit twice with T-bone accidents (people running lights). Both times he was hit on the passenger door, once as a driver and once as a passenger. He spent many months in recovery and suffered severe financial losses as a result. As for the cost, if it cost more to improve casualty rates, I believe we are being more responsible by spending a little more if necessary. My family is worth a lot to me.
The reduced speeds associated with the design of roundabouts increases driver reaction time and reduces the severity of accidents, usually reflected in the reduction of injury accidents.
A study in Australia showed a 74 per cent reduction in the casualty accident rate after roundabouts were installed. Also of particular interest is a 68 per cent reduction in pedestrian casualty accidents per year. There have been dozens of studies in other countries as well, all with similar results. Just Google roundabout safety reviews.
If logging trucks can maneuver down switchbacks and steep logging roads I know that professional truckers would not have any problem in roundabouts. In downtown Vancouver there is a fire hall that uses a single lane roundabout a half dozen or more times a day with no problems.
It appears to me that a lot of people just do not like change. Remember the complaints about seatbelt use when they first came out? Now most people would not drive with out them.
Turning on to the highway from Upper Clearwater southbound is just like using a roundabout. I only have to glance to my left. Wow, how simple.
I would be proud to say that Clearwater was first to implement a safer intersection alternative that, I believe, is as inevitable as the coming of seat-belts.
Once you have used them for a short while you will wonder what the fuss was all about.