Sunday, October 30, 2011

Round and Round and Round We Go - or Not

Another roundabout is going to open in Oakland County.  It will be another intersection area I will make sure to avoid.

Actually, I rarely use the Pontiac Trail/M-5 intersection unless I am coming home on M-5 and heading to the Kroger store on Haggerty.  Now, I will just avoid doing so.

It is bad enough that if I want to go south on either Drake Road or Farmington I have to go through the roundabouts. 

The other day I was coming north on Farmington and when I got to Maple the traffic was at a dead stop.  There was a woman in a car in the inside lane with her right hand turn signal on.  She wanted to go south on Farmington.

Now, if she was already on Farmington when she entered the roundabout or if she had come from westbound Maple, she was in the right lane and it would be traffic entering from eastbound Maple that was blocking her turn.  BUT, if she was westbound and trying to make a right onto Farmington, she was in the wrong lane.

Either way, someone was doing something they should not be doing, i.e. either getting in the wrong lane or entering the roundabout without yielding to oncoming traffic.

What a surprise!  These roundabouts have been here for years now and folks still cannot drive in them.  The other day I saw a man in a pick-up just race through the roundabout right in front of me. 

Who are these morons who are quoted in the newspapers saying that the roundabouts are OK but it is the drivers fault?  Well, DUH!  Who drives cars?  They do not drive themselves.  So what is the point of designing roads that average numbskulls can't drive properly?

Years ago when I was at a national conference there was a session about what the public needs versus what the public gets.  They were talking about the use of surveys to assess wants and needs of the residents in communities.

They pointed out that when doing road surveys communities fail to take into account the people actually using the roads.  If you are designing communities for older retired populations, you have different considerations than you have if you have a young urban population of day-time workers.

So why build a roundabout where you have two nursing homes, a hospital, and a senior residence where folks are in their 80's and some are still driving?  (I will keep my answer to myself cause it is not at all flattering to the Road Commission.)

As I have said before, this has been a colossal waste of precious infrastructure dollars for roads.  A couple of new bills in Lansing (HB 5125 and 5126) would remove Road Commissions and place responsibility in the hands of the County Commissioners.  At least then we could vote them out of office if need be.

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