To the editor:
Construction continues on Douglas Drive in Golden Valley, including the second roundabout. Roundabouts are the perfect example of a solution in search of a problem. In the City of Golden Valley’s July, August 2017 issue of “City News” we are informed on page 14, “The raised center islands in modern roundabouts keep the driver focused on the left line of sight for vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians when driving into and through the roundabout.”
Actually, a raised island blocks a driver’s perception of anyone approaching from the left, even at the reduced speed, until the last moment, making every entrance a thrilling experience, like a ride at an amusement park.
It also means that drivers barely have a moment before they are confronted with drivers entering from the right. And will anyone use turn signals? Of course not, this is a roundabout.
So, instead of being able to merge smoothly, drivers will have to come to a dead stop to make sure that oncoming traffic isn’t continuing on the curve. This adds to the suspense of the thrill.
You can bet when an accident happens that lawyers will cite gross negligence in design as a contributing factor.
The only beneficiaries from roundabouts will be lawyers, body shops and insurance companies.
It is reasonable to demand that the City of Golden Valley track and compare accident rates and severity at those intersections, prior to and after the installation of roundabouts. When they announce the findings, I’ll be happy to be proven wrong.
Michael L. Hunegs