Letter: Time for More Roundabouts
To the Editor-
Growing up in Stevens Point I have become accustomed to the 4-way stops controlling traffic at our intersections, and have been against roundabouts as they seem confusing. Due to circumstances, I’ve been staying in Merrill where there is one roundabout.
My first thought was, “Oh great, I have to use that stupid thing to get from point A to point B.” I soon realized that my opinion on roundabouts was based solely on the lack of knowledge and experience of using them. I have been in Merrill for almost a year, and I am certainly in favor of having roundabouts in Stevens Point. Our city currently has none, and I propose that we construct one, for now.
I wasn’t familiar with them before using one, and believe that many residents of Stevens Point are in the same boat. Recently it was proposed with the reconstruction of Business 51 that 6+ roundabouts be installed. This was presented at city meetings, and was not a welcomed idea. I felt the same way, but now that I am more informed and have experienced using them it is a no-brainer; they are the smarter choice.
The T.V. show “Mythbusters” tested the efficiency of roundabouts, comparing them to a 4-way stop. Roundabouts were the clear winner, averaging 460 vehicles passing in 15 minutes, compared to 385 at a 4-way stop. That’s a 20% improvement! Everyone should go to YouTube and search “Mythbusters S14E06.” The segment regarding roundabouts starts at 16:00 and continues at 32:00.
My hopes are that our city constructs one roundabout, because using one is the best way to dispel fears and realize their benefits. Thank you!
– Do not require electricity or electrical maintenance, reducing tax money spent.
– Substantially lower accident rates compared to a 4 way stop.
– Vehicles flow more efficiently, increasing your gas mileage.
– No more waiting at a red light for no reason.
– Flower beds and “green space” can be included in a roundabout.
– Decreased wear and tear (braking and acceleration).
– When the power goes out, roundabouts are still awesome!