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Friday, May 18, 2007
(2:30 PM) | Stephen:
A Question For Americans

I have noticed that I get some readers from places outside the United States. Thank you! It's wonderful how these internets can connect us.

Thing is, though, this post isn't for you. You can read it still, I suppose, but I want to talk to Americans right now. I have an important question to ask my fellow citizens:

What is your friggin' problem with roundabouts?

This is an aerial photo of a roundabout not too far from my home. There's another one near the school where my daughter will attend starting this fall, and several roundabouts near the home just purchased by some good friends of ours. A neighborhood near here has a roundabout in every interesection for about a square mile. Roundabouts are here to stay.

And that's a good thing. I like roundabouts. It makes it easier to get on a street or make a turn, or, when each direction of traffic has only one lane, much easier to get around people turning left. At least, that's the theory behind them, because in practice around here it only works well if my car is the only one entering or leaving the roundabout. If there is a car in front of me and another car anywhere - anywhere - in eyesight of the driver of that car, they will stop and sit there until they can't see any more cars. If I am in the roundabout and see a car coming up to the same entry point that I'm approaching - from the inside of the roundabout, mind you - then I know I have to slow down, because that idiot is going to think that the big honkin' yield sign staring him in the face is somehow meant for me.

In two-lane roundabouts, people don't understand what a right-turn only sign means, or what it means if the signs make it abundantly clear that the person in the right lane can turn or not and doesn't in fact have to shatter their passenger-side window, grab them by their hair and scream in their ear, "HEY JACKASS! I'M GOING STRAIGHT JUST LIKE YOU, SO STAY IN YOUR LANE!"

Seriously, Americans. It's embarassing that you can't seem to get what could be an elegant replacement for our herky-jerky 4-way stops. Learn. To. Drive.

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