Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 3:09 PM on Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Its only a circle

I tried driving around in a circle this past week. Perfect.I did it a second time. Same result.

And, a third, fourth, fifth attempt. All exactly the same. Wow, am I good.

But, then again, Im considered mature (some would say elderly or senior) and have been driving for a number of years, so driving my vehicle in near perfect circles should not be a burden. Nor should it be for anyone who passed their drivers test, has a license to drive and owns a motor vehicle. Same for truck drivers, all of whom are pretty good at driving around objects in the road such as roundabouts.

So, why all the fuss about the supposed traffic hazards surrounding roundabouts? After all, a roundabout is just a circle on the highway. And, the state Department of Transportation makes it easy by mounding and clearly identifying them. Its not like you are searching for, and trying to drive around, some cryptic signage, or unusually shaped, hard-to-see structure blocking the approach to the highway intersection.

Not only are roundabouts easy to navigate with a proven safety track record, even for the largest vehicles and inexperienced drivers, but they are more pleasing on the eye compared to traffic signals.

Based on my experience with the traffic signal at the Bypass and Lake Street, I doubt that additional traffic signals positioned at the intersections of the Bypass and Pioneer and the Bypass and Main would add much to the safety and aesthetics of our city. Same goes for traffic signals along Pioneer. Next time you drive through Soldotna and Kenai notice how the endless traffic signals have made the two cities look just like any other U.S. town. And, their highways are no safer than those where roundabouts replaced traffic signals.

I live in Homer because it is, well, Homer. Lets keep it a little different, unencumbered by unsightly traffic signals, yet a safe and nice place to live and travel.

For those of you who are still non-believers, jump into that vehicle and drive around in circles a few times youll see how easy it is to navigate roundabouts.

Michael Haines