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« Palette Procrastination | Main | Thar be whales! »

February 11, 2008

Comments

Lots to say about this post! Random comments...

Traffic circles freak me out too. Although it's kind of exciting, the adrenaline rush you get. Step on it!!

Blue Kid told us his version of hell the other night. He just hasn't encountered traffic circles yet. (I've been meaning to post about his version for a few days...)

I *love* Spirograph! And I also always loved its cousin -- "The Painted Version" we used to do at the beach as kids. You'd lay that paper down and it would spin and you'd squirt paint at it? Haven't thought about that in ages.

I bought myself a little box of chocolates on Saturday. They're all gone. :)

Yeah, I bought bags of Valentine chocolates to entice my co-workers down to my end of the corridor for isits, because it is really hard to work now. So, I bought it and they do come. But, each little frustration in my work, and in my oxygen depleted state due to low red blood cell counts there are more of these than there have been in the past, the chocolate seems like a good way to regroup until my brain clears. Seems like a way to hasten brain clearing. Chemo-induced stupidity.

The most terrifying ones I've seen were in England. They have multiple lanes. I have no idea how anyone in the inside lane gets out.

It's like Thunderdome or something. TEN CARS ENTER. ONE CAR LEAVES.

Would you be referring to the Des Plaines Golf Road traffic circle? I have to drink and drive just to CONSIDER that one. Shannon and I have a couple of funny stories relating to traffic circles in Ireland too.

I actually like traffic circles. I think they work provided that people understand that you always yield to circle traffic. Massachusetts has a bunch of them, even the two-lane varieties, and they generally work out fine. As long as people understand that you always yield to circle traffic. The appeal is that a well-oiled circle allows you to make your turns or go straight without having to wait for a traffic light - it is especially great in low-flow traffic. As long as people understand that you always yield to circle traffic. The problem I see in Massachusetts is that most drivers are so aggressive, they fail to understand that you always yield to circle traffic, no matter how important you think your particular entrance might be. That said, I like chocolate far more than driving in traffic circles.

UC- so I take it you yield to circle traffic? Was that your point? That all is well if one yields to circle traffic? NO ONE YIELDS! I agree with MenD. It's Thunderdome! And just where is the hidden Emily Post Guide to Traffic Circle Etiquette?!?! Hmmm? I don't think anyone has read it.

I think there is something innately beautiful about them. As I said, the traffic must be making a lovely pattern if seen from above, but who really sees it from above. We're all stuck in the hell that is the circle. Rules be damned. I was just happy that today was a relatively LOW traffic flow.

BG- I too love Spirograph. I just don't like to do it with traffic. :) I can't wait to hear what BK's biggest fear is.

Von- that is the very one!!! There's something especially sinister about it, isn't there?! I'd do the Toll Rd. to Dan Ryan merge (the old one... the blind one!)in full rush hour traffic than go on that forsaken circle!

Karla- if you get chocolate... they will come!

More chocolate for EVERYONE!!!

I forgot... I took a perfectly lovely NW road, followed by a truly functional EW road back home. No circles were involved. It just seemed bad luck to risk the circle twice in one day.

TEN CARS ENTER. ONE CAR LEAVES.

/laugh

I have only two small traffic circles in my regular driving paths. They are nothing to me compared to the hideous freeway ramp layouts. We hae a number that were apprently engineered when traffic flow was much smaller than it is now. The entrance ramp is about 100 feet (not sure - it feels like less) BEFORE the exit ramp. You have people going fast, decelerating into the exit lane crossing people going slow but accelerating to freeway speed. These two cross each other. BUT the real kicker is that the slower accelerating traffic coming on must yield to the decelerating exiting traffic. The result is that people entering the freeway often get to the entrance and have to stop.

As far as the Emily Post book of traffic etiquette - what I would like to see is this. You are in the lane that exits. It is divided from the rest of the lanes with a solid white line and signs clearly say - 'do not cross white lines'. You, being the obedient drone, stay in the exit lane - because well, you are going to exit. Your 'neighbors' drive along at high speed in the lane next to the exit lane, go to the head of the line and cut in. People around here would not do this if they were out of their cars but do it so frequently when surrounded by their vehicle. What is up with that?

K- we have more of the entrance/exit stuff happening around here. It's not my fave.

Your traffic is goofy. I remember when we were driving there, the pacing felt all off. We would drive like we were used to for expressways around here, but yours was totally different. We were amazed at the "Bat Out of Hell" pace people would take for such a short distance and then of course, the slamming on the brakes. I did like the fact though that if you took the wrong exit, you could get right back on instead of having to drive around Hell's half acre to find the entrance.

Buck up there, my friends. The entire population of Boston seems to be handling their "rotaries" with some facility. Should I be expecting less from a group of your extraordinary capabilities?

There really aren't any rules for a traffic circle, except that of self-preservation and perhaps largest vehicle gets right of way. The traffic circle is a construct that only engineers and thrill seekers can truly appreciate.

My idea of hell is a series of cul-de-sacs with no main roads.

And no sidewalks.

Oh wait... Apparently I have that confused with where I grew up.

I LOVE traffic circles! I had so much fun driving around Ireland last November. But, to be honest, I also love skydiving. I guess Grizzled is right, "The traffic circle is a construct that only engineers and thrill seekers can truly appreciate."

I have no problem with the idea of skydiving and have wanted to go skydiving for some time, but traffic circles, no. Can't go there. I tried, I tried to surrender to the adventure of the circle, but I just wanted OUT! Other thrill-seeking things? I'm fine with that... just not the circle!!!

My hometown recently replaced a yellow flashing light with a proper roundabout (of the one lane variety), and reduced the number and severity of accidents there by 90+ percent. I used to go through that intersection very carefully, worried both about the cross-traffic and broken glass.

I generally like them, but the rotaries (as we here in MA call the 2-lane versions) in Concord along Route 2 and in Bourne on Route 3 can be terrifying experiences.

A little daily terror helps remind you that you're alive.

Skydive. Use a roundabout. Pet Chuckles' spider. Carve your initials into a Moose. try to take Snag's drink out of his hand.

You know. Live like you've got nothing to lose. People respect it. They avoid you, anyway.

But I wake up screaming in terror every morning anyway!

I'm all for the thrill, just not the one on the circle of hell!!!

mdhatter- one lane sounds positively humane. I could do one lane.

you havent encountered the worst possible traffic circle, the one with the traffic signal. do they have those in ireland as well?

I've decided the problem is that the circle reminds you too much of this.

Oh. My. God.

K!

KATHLEEN!!!! I knew it! At least you didn't directly link to it.

if you call them rotaries they lose their power over you.

if you call them rotaries they lose their power over you.

never mind.

Hi dave! Hey, will that work for chocolate as well? If I call chocolate, rotaries, will it lose its power over me?!?

This is a hilarious comment thread. From an urban planning perspective, apparently traffic engineers are trying to win over the hearts and minds of Americans with roundabouts and traffic circles for safety reasons. (I know there's a difference between the two and that I should know it, but I forget. Plus the terms are different in the US and UK.)

We've just gotten a couple in the Columbus area. The one near my internship has huge signs with instructions repeated as you come close to it. The signs themselves are pretty hilarious, because they treat the drivers as if they are very dim.

Most drivers are very dim, Claire.

Yes, Ireland has tons of traffic circles with traffic signals. Those are definitely the scariest.

I agree- they are dim, which is why I get into trouble, because I'm thinking and try to follow the rules. I should just use my lizard brain and go for it!

I'd give up driving, Jennifer.

It's only going to get worse, as drivers have to gun each other down for the last gallon of 20 dollar gas at the pumps....

soon, those traffic circles will be useless except as circular fields for weird, mutant forms of basketball and roller-hockey.....

the pavement will crack and weeds will sprout.

Small lizards scuttle across the asphalt, looking for a sunny place and the occasional rusted Mitsubishi provides counterpoint....

The single remaining working streetlight sputters fitfully into life during the afternoon, long since losing sync with daylight.

But we'll all be safe at the blogging commune, right??

Billy, think roller-derby.

as long as Will Smith is there, BP.

don't be silly.

Will Smith was killed by vampires.

Hey, I didn't get my chocolate.

The blogging commune should have traffic crop circles.

BP- your chocolate is on its way. The delivery truck is stuck in the inner lane of the traffic circle.

Brando- you're banned from the blogging commune... although that was funny.

Put Brando on compost doody.

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