today I’m wondering if anyone out there shares my aversion to (if not outright hatred of) roundabouts? or is it just me? I mean what were the British thinking? Roundabout, according to the dictionary, is a British term for merry-go-round. and secondarily a British term for traffic circle. The first definition says it all. The British knew what they were doing when they started putting “merry-go-rounds” at every intersection. The proof is in the name they gave to their traffic circles. Calling them roundabouts shows they knew they were constructing “merry-go-rounds” for cars. Given that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, one would think someone would have questioned the reasoning behind turning straightforward paths into circuitous challenges.
Apparently someone over here thought it would be cool to follow Britain’s example. (don’t they know we are no longer a colony?) Now there seems to be a conspiracy to bring these roundabouts to any and every intersection near me. You, like me, dear reader, may be innocently unsuspecting of this plot until it is too late. Your once very straightforward drive to work or to wherever is now suddenly a dizzyingly, dangerous and circuitous obstacle course that must be overcome. Your drive is now a series of yielding, merging, circling, exiting (or not), yielding, merging, circling, exiting; over and over again at each new roundabout.
It used to be so simple to get from point A to point B, the light told me what to do at each intersection or the well established rules of a four-way stop dictated my behavior. But participating in this cut-throat, Indy 500 challenge at every intersection, leaves me little adrenaline left over for the rest of my day when I do finally arrive at my destination.
What were “they” thinking? Are my lawmakers so bored that they have nothing better to do than to fix what IS NOT BROKEN? Do they have that much extra money burning a hole in their budget that they need to spend it on merry-go-rounds? (which I do not want to ride) I have a few suggestions for them if that is the case. I could point them to a pothole or two or more. They really are broken and they are breaking our cars.
There are plenty of broken things out there that really do need fixing, ie. old, collapsing bridges and such. I wish they would stop “fixing” things that are currently working just fine. We need more support for our fire and law enforcement people, for our child services, for world hunger and world peace, for local hunger and local peace. There are lots of things we need, but another roundabout isn’t one of them.
I spend enough time going in circles (metaphorically speaking of course) in my life that I have no desire to travel in circles literally, every day, just to get where I need to be. These roundabouts are adding miles to my commute every day, particularly if no one will let me off (or is it out?) and I must continue to circle in the inside lane (don’t tell me it has never happened to you) Plus, for the directionally challenged, such as myself, an encounter with a roundabout is a daily nightmare, often leaving me quite turned around. If I get off too soon or too late I am headed somewhere I never intended to go and before I can figure it out, there is another roundabout in my path, taking me even further from my destination and leaving me hopelessly off course.
Life used to be so straightforward. Now I am forced to travel in circles. Roundabouts take up so much more space and cost so much more of our tax dollars than regular, run of the mill intersections. All this at a time when funding isn’t available for so much that needs to be done, so much that is actually broken. How are these roundabouts being funded anyway? I’m beginning to suspect Russian collusion (not to be confused with collision, which is definitely associated with roundabouts) Maybe the Russians’ plan is to keep us Americans busy endlessly circling, leaving us dizzy, disoriented, drained and discouraged; allowing them to be one up on us. I bet you the Russians aren’t busy building roundabouts right now.
I recently heard a rumor that there was talk of putting in a traffic light/signal at some of the roundabouts to help with traffic flow. Now I thought the sole purpose of the roundabout was to replace the traffic light and to improve traffic flow? I sigh in resignation every time a new roundabout appears. When will it stop? When there are no more straight roads left? I am paying more tax money so that I can drive in circles, drive more miles, spend more time in my car . . . forgive me but I’m not seeing an upside here to this roundabout takeover happening at an intersection near me.
Maybe I will lead a protest of some kind, but first I will have to break free from these circles of life I now must navigate daily at my own peril. Stop the merry-go-round, I want to get off!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Pr. 3:5-6)
sincerely, Grace Day
ps. I forgot to mention that the dictionary definition of roundabout as an adjective includes the words circuitous, indirect, meandering (none a ringing endorsement) and also the word “tortuous”. I am not making this up, dear readers, check it out for yourselves. So, in the final analysis, a roundabout is in reality a “tortuous merry-go-round.” Happy driving everyone!