Monday, October 20, 2008

My Town Monday: Lee Road Roundabouts

Some brainiac decided that Brighton needed mall. They bought up some land nestlted between US-23 and Island Lake State Park.

Only, this intersection (and set of freeway ramps) was already a dreadful set up. It would have to be redone to accept traffic for the new mall.

Someone came up with the idea of putting in roundabouts. I'm not opposed to roundabouts... but whoever came up with the set up for the Lee Road Roundabouts was insane. There are three roundabouts, two literarlly on top of each other. And a craptacular design that even I have trouble figuring out. It's like a free-for all-- floor it and hope no one's in the way.

Click here for a full size pic.

You have expressway traffic, mall traffic, local road traffic. And a couple multi-lane roundabouts to figure out.

It's incredibly confusing, particularly since every lane crosses another lane through the big roundabout (bottom of the screen.)

I'm a fan of roundabouts, really, just not this one. I try to avoid going through it. It's really just the lanes crossing each other that really throws me.

Though, truth is, the roundabout has only seen two accidents (that I've ever heard of) since it's opening. And both of those accidents were caused when some dipshit put their car in REVERSE when they passed where they were going. Um, last time I checked, it is NEVER okay to go in reverse with traffic behind you-- roundabout, regular road, or even parking lot. Not a roundabout problem-- driver error at it's "finest."

I'm sure one contributing factor to the low accident rate is that people who are confuddled by it (like me) avoid it. The other factor is certainly the low speeds-- you can't go fast through the roundabouts.

I hear there's some good shops at the mall. Nothing has enticed me, yet. I admit that if I so desired (or needed) I would learn how to navigate this engineering "masterpiece." I did, after all, learn how to drive the expressway, a stick shift, and other things that I was incredibly resistant to once upon a time ago. But for now, I'm just going to declare this a clusterfuck and avoid it. Little roundabouts are okay-- this is nuts.

What's your favorite road-design distaster?

Visit Travis Erwin for more My Town Monday posts.

And I also have an entry in Patti Abbott's Flash Fiction Challenge below (avoid if you don't like naughty things. ;-)


pattinase (abbott) said...

My grandmother, dead 12 years now, used to tell the story that when she was a child circa 1910, pictures like this one where shown as the future. It terrified her more than the boogie man. She never learned to drive.

Melanie Avila said...

My parents were just in Brighton last week. I'll have to ask them if they saw or heard about the new circles. Great post!

Travis Erwin said...

I can see where those would pose lots of problems.

Reb said...

Clusterfuck is right! One of the rules of circles is that you don't change lanes in them, but it looks from the painted arrows on that photo that you have to on the bottom circle if you are going anywhere but straight through.

The best road design disaster in Edmonton is taking a Freeway, that was designed for travel at 100km/h (60-65 mph) and putting in traffic lights! They then reduced the speed to 80k (50mph) and now they are talking about reducing it again! When will they stop calling it a freeway?

lyzzydee said...

Here in the UK we LOVE roundabouts!! In fact we have them everywhere at the slightest excuse. Why would you reverse on a roundabout?? just go around again!!

Mary said...

I think I'd avoid the area altogether!

Barbara Martin said...

The only place I've been in with Roundabouts was in Edmonton, Alberta where I grew up. There was one at the intersection of 111th Avenue and Groat Road which the City removed due to too many fatalities. My oldest brother took a flying leap up a grassy embankment in the early 60s with a Ford coupe that was totalled in the parking lot at Westmount Shopping Centre, and he with a mere broken hand. Those were the days when there was no seatbelts.

I can see why you don't like them, as they do take getting used to. Edmonton had several which I notice now when doing a Google map search that most of them have been removed.

debra said...

I have driven multiple circles around these things when the other guy wouldn't move over.......

Anonymous said...

Dont let engineers and designers tell u its scary, dangerous. And just plane stupid. They dropped the ball on this one. 100% stupid.