Feedback: Roundabouts can work here
July 3, 2008 · Updated 10:29 PM
Hurray for roundabouts! I was glad to read that roundabouts were being considered for Oak Harbors terrible traffic. We have used them several times in Britain, and they are a great way to keep traffic moving at major intersections. Sure, there will be a learning period, but the idea of installing one roundabout and waiting a while before adding more will likely provide that training nicely.
I would suggest two things:
1. Place the first roundabout at an intersection as far away as possible from the nearest traffic light. Otherwise, the traffic light could back up cars into the roundabout, and the drivers will hate it and you too.
2. Be sure the signs are very clear about which exit goes to which street. And it would be a good idea to double the number of signs so that each road would have a diagram sign of the roundabout well in advance of entering the circle, as well as another at the entrance.
Logically, a roundabout at the Swantown corner would be a great place for the first roundabout because it is only a three-way corner. However, the traffic is already too bad. The next traffic light entering town already backs up traffic almost to the Swantown corner now. A bypass, routing through traffic up Swantown, Heller and Ault Field Road to Highway 20, would alleviate that problem somewhat.
A better learning location for the first roundabout might be where Regatta intersects Highway 20 or at the Ault Field and Highway 20 corner. Both are three-way intersections, and at Regatta, the off-highway exiting or entering is not too bad.
Roundabouts are great once you get used to them. Bring them on!
Anita W. Johnston