Friday, 21 August 2009

Roundabout Part II

The roundabout is open! I went through it today and it worked flawlessly. It wasn't rush hour, but there was pretty steady traffic going north and south, and a couple cars coming from the sides, but no problemo ... I got through the intersection quickly and efficiently, without stopping and without breaking the law! Was that so hard?

No. No it wasn't. People say "oh, stupid Winnipeg drivers will never figure out how to use it." Bullshit, says I. When you think about it, using a four way stop requires a lot more discipline, observation and patience than using a roundabout does. These are precious qualities that local drivers have in very short supply. They are rationed like energy wafers in an epic trek across Antarctica. If a Winnipeg driver -- especially one driving a Pontiac -- uses a little bit of brain power to observe what's around them and adjust their actions accordingly and within the law, then that's one little bit of brain power that can never be used again. Therefore it is only used sparingly.

Fortunately, roundabouts require much less observation and patience. It matters not who arrives at the intersection first. All that matters is what the cars approaching from the left are doing. No car? Go on ahead. Don't even bother stopping. I know how you hate stopping. Sure, there will be the odd paranoid driver that will panic and stop when there is no need to, but there's not much you can do about that, other than honk at them or shoot them in the head. (For the record, I don't advocate the later. It's just a hypothetical option.)

I will repeat my earlier statement that every four way stop in the city, where possible, should be replaced with roundabouts when the time comes to do road repairs. Some controlled intersections as well. However, I was looking at photos of Portage and Main and I fear that there may not be enough room there for a roundabout because of the placement of the buildings. Maybe if they just bump it to the east a little ... A guy can dream...

previously: Roundabout Part I

Blog note: The blogger that first noticed that the city was building this round-about, Average City, has disappeared from the world wide web. AC did some good digging on city stuff -- developments and contracts and such. I don't know what kind of traffic he got, but I thought he filled a niche in our little blog community.

12 comments:

Grumpy Old Man said...

I wonder why we single out Winnipeg drivers when complaining about driving habits.

It is a little pet peeve of mine. I usually write it off to the writer's naivete. That is they've never driven anywhere else so they automatically assume Winnipeg drivers are the worst drivers.

I guess every city believes their drivers are the worst drivers.

IMHO Winnipeg drivers are no better or no worse than any other city drivers. This is based upon years and years of driving in cities all over North America.

While I did not actually drive in Paris I did come to the conclusion they were the worst drivers I have ever witnessed. I'm willing to bet Parisians will say the same thing.

cherenkov said...

I am guilty of perpetuating that myth in my post, but I do actually agree with you: every city has bad drivers and drivers here aren't necessarily any worse. I have seen some bad driving in Toronto and elsewhere. However, four way stops bring out the worst in drivers, and because we have so many of them it tends to amplify our driving incompetence.

I do not remember bad driving in Paris, but that may have been because I was too busy ogling the architecture and the women.

Mr. Nobody said...

Whats a roundabout, and peggers do suck at driving. they believe they save gas by driving in the left lane and as for yielding, not a chance.

The French by and large drive very well.Italians on the other hand have this urge to speed so they can get to the red light faster.

David Watson said...

Average City has come and gone before. As always AC was more than well informed, dishing out lots of high quality royal jelly. Hopefully he (or she) will return when the fancy comes. I do not use a hit counter, so readers are never an issue with me. I am amazed I still have any, to tell truth :)
The roadways in Southdale never worked very well. Interesting that the Ladco designs for the new Royalwood roads have been reverse engineered to a previous incarnation Ladco development. What about the problematic water features in Southdale? Can Ducks Unlimited reverse engineer them into better duck habitat as well? (The giant Canada geese buggers are there anyways.)

cherenkov said...

@Mr.N: Given your familiarity with French and Italian drivers, you must also be familiar with roundabouts. If not, keep an eye on 60 second driver.

@David: The water features seem designed to optimize properties with water frontage. I would rather see a more park-like naturalized area with more area devoted to the public. However there is some wildlife in those things: fish, beaver, various birds, and I suppose there may be some people who don't mind paying extra to have geese crapping in their yards all summer.

David Watson said...

A friend in Royalwood Redux spent a zillion dollars on his Trex deck, a synthetic designed to last longer than we do. The Canada Geese love it. As he sips his morning cofee he watches the Flying Guys having a party on the new deck. Naturalization means getting flying house guests it seems.

cherenkov said...

If I were him I'd buy a Taser and stock my freezer for the winter.

Old Chum said...

Great take on the drivers of this fair city

David Watson said...

http://speakupwinnipeg.com/blog/post.cfm/why-naturalized-stormwater-retention-basins-or-constructed-wetlands-1/index.cfm

cherenkov said...

@OC: Thx

@David: Thanks for the link. Informative little post.

nitroglycol said...

I've heard that roundabouts actually reduce the incidence of fatal accidents, since they make T-bone crashes less likely, and force people to slow down as they enter (you can't run a roundabout like you can a stop sign!) They've started to introduce them in a number of cities (Waterloo Region now has several, for instance). Then again, much of the world has been using them for generations; we're just catching up.

cherenkov said...

Oh for sure, I don't doubt it. They make so much sense.

Thanks for stopping by, Nitro.

 
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