Letters to the Editor

Feedback: Traffic needs no circles

Allow me to add my voice to the rising chorus of opposition to the building of roundabouts to replace traffic lights. I come from a part of the country where many roundabouts, called traffic circles, were built in the late 1930s and shortly after World War II.

One in particular comes in mind - the big traffic circle outside of Revere, Mass., on the main north-south route from Boston’s Logan Airport. Five or six highways intersected at that point and the state decided to solve the traffic problems by building a large traffic circle. I was caught in it many times. One entered into the outside lane, worked his way into the inside lane, went around two or three times, then tried to work his way out without getting a fender-bender, and in time for the desired exit.

Well, this turned out to be a disaster for everybody. There were many aggressive drivers, collisions, injuries and general frustrations.

The last time I drove to Logan Airport from the north, I discovered to my joy that the Revere Traffic Circle had been abandoned. Now there is a highway built right across the old circle with traffic lights controlling the various intersections. So, before the city of Oak Harbor decides to replace traffic lights with roundabouts, I suggest that someone take a trip back to Massachusetts to see what happened to the old Revere Traffic Circle.

Many traffic circles in New England cause many difficulties, particularly one outside of Portsmouth, N.H. One can easily get lost for a night outside Portsmouth going around in circles.

Our present system of traffic lights works just fine, particularly at the intersection of Swantown and Highway 20. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Roland F. Gray

Oak Harbor

Community Events, April 2014

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