In the December DEER PARK GAZETTE Joe Polowski wrote of some concerns regarding use of Deer Park roundabouts. On the positive side he wrote, “The roundabouts already save you time compared to a stop sign or traffic light.”
Well, that depends upon where you are going and the time of day. Picture yourself trying to get onto highway 395, or or worse, trying to cross it from H street or Cleveland Road during rush time in the morning or evening. Since H Street and Cleveland Road are between the north and south roundabouts with plenty of time for cars to speed up between the two there is hardly any break in the stream of north and south bound traffic. Obviously, as many of us know first hand, there may be a long wait for a break in traffic to allow a safe crossing of 395.
To make the situation much worse and dangerous, just picture a car on the other side of 395 waiting to make a left turn. So, when a short opening at last comes both drivers are eager to “do their thing.” If I am not mistaken, the left turning driver is supposed to yield to the straight across driver, but he or she seldom does so. You may be dead right in your driving, BUT - you — and others — may be just plain DEAD. In a very true sense, dead because of the two roundabouts. Quite obviously, if we had traffic lights there would be a break in the highway 395 traffic thus making crossing of it, or turning north or south onto it safe. (And by the way, I, for one, am highly skeptical of the tired argument that traffic lights are more expensive than roundabouts.)
One more extreme concern: Recently I warned out of town friends of the south roundabout. It was a dark, rainy lousy visibility night, and I forgot to warn them that they would shortly come to the north roundabout. Later they told me that they very nearly had an accident when they suddenly came to the roundabout. When I checked the roundabout there were skid marks all over it. Solid proof that our friends are by no means the only ones who have nearly had a serious accident thanks to roundabouts!