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Old 03-13-2009, 11:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The problem with roundabouts, or at least the few that have been installed hereabouts, is that they're almost always designed to impede the flow of traffic, rather than smooth it out. But I've long thought that a lot of the state highway engineers should be in a sheltered workshop somewhere.

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Old 03-13-2009, 11:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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There are a lot of lights here that could be better synchronized. I can think of 6 that trap you either on or after cresting a fairly long, semi-steep hill. If you manage to get stuck at one on the hill, you are guaranteed to get stuck at the top of the hill somewhere. Lots of racing cars and skipping through yellow lights about to change.

At least there are functioning pedestrian indicators that are usually very reliable indicators of when the light is about to change, making engine-off waiting a viable option.
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Old 03-14-2009, 12:35 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Although they're better for cars and occupants there may be one problem with roundabouts; pedestrians. Some drivers focus on merging more than they need to and fail to check for those on the other side.
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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In many local forums I repeated hold that Indiana ought to be more like Texas and less like Michigan. Here is another example in spades. If you have ever driven through Indiana it has some of the most bizarre traffic engineering in the country. It is nearly impossible to time lights and stop signs are put up willy-nilly. Of course many towns use traffic tickets as a form of taxation.
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Old 03-15-2009, 01:54 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ai_vin View Post
Although they're better for cars and occupants there may be one problem with roundabouts; pedestrians. Some drivers focus on merging more than they need to and fail to check for those on the other side.
I remember seeing in England lots of traffic circles that were slightly raised with the ped/bike traffic going under. Having the circle raised is also good, as it naturally makes you slow down when approaching. Unfortunately, any kind of multilevel intersection is expensive, since it requires playing in the dirt.
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Old 03-16-2009, 05:09 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TestDrive View Post
Phil, would you please post the document or at least give us the title so we can hunt for it on line?

Thanks a bunch.
TestDrive,I was actually able to locate the papers.

The appetizer comes from Texas Department of Transportation"news",January 5,1993,page 30.The article in entitled:"Synchronized lights save Texans money and time."I received my copy from Alan King,Public Information Officer,TXDOT,Dewitt C. Greer State Highway Bldg.,125 E. 11th Street,Austin,TX 78701-2483,PH (512) 463-8585.

The project was part of SUBCHAPTER E. COMPETITIVE GRANTS PROGRAM, 2305.076 Traffic Light Synchronization Program,under Oil Overcharge Restitutionary Act,Texas 1993,73rd Legislature,chapter 268,---- effective Sept. 1, 1993.

The program was funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy with funds from fines to 21 oil companies who violated the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act of 1973.Violations occurred from 1973 to 1981.The U.S.Congress' Warner Amendment stipulated that the monies be used in energy-related programs.

I presume that all 50 states received money although my documents only infer that the whole country was involved in the reimbursement.

Some of my remarks and quanta are based on articles from AUTOWEEK,Ward's Auto World,Prevention Magazine,CAR and DRIVER,OMNI Magazine,U.S.News and World Report,POPULAR SCIENCE,The Dallas Morning News,Automobile Magazine,and MOTOR TREND.

Hope that helps.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:53 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Roundabouts require some level of "Paying attention" as there are cars/trucks comming at you from both sides ( Your left as you merge onto the circle - your Right as you travel around the circle / exit the circle)

all of us HERE are the type to pay attention to our driving and be aware of those around us.
But we all have seen plenty of people having a hard time driving STRAIGHT - let alone negotiating a traffic circle.

Personally - I am for them-
Only drawback is that they take up more LAND than a 4 way - would be hard to re-engineer intersections to get them in place.
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:42 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Theres a lot of stop signs that could be yield signs around here.
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:32 AM   #19 (permalink)
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My only fear of a system that tells you how fast to go to catch the next green is people that will cruise at that speed and not bother to look both ways before they get to the intersection. Just because it is green doesn't mean you won't get creamed by some other lemming on the road.
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:07 PM   #20 (permalink)
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additional thoughts

Looks like I'm not alone,stuck behind red lights.Here are some thoughts after reading responses:------------------------------------------------------- If automobiles get their best urban fuel economy at between 35-40 miles per hour,then that seems like an appropriate target velocity if we want to capitalize on an automobile's efficiency.--------------------------------------------------------------- Maintaining momentum is paramount to achieving top economy,so that means no stops,regardless of how we achieve it.--------------------------------- Perfectly-synchronized traffic lights would allow complete conservation of momentum,as no variation in velocity would occur.------------------------ The "roundabout," from what is reported,requires deceleration to below 25 miles per hour.Not perfection,but miles ahead of a dead stop,and no left-turn collisions.--------------------------------------------------------------- Cloverleafs allow a change in direction with virtually no loss in momentum, no collisions,but at the cost of greater real estate.----------------------------------------------------------------- Yield signs allow progress when it is clearly safe to proceed.--------------------------------------------------------------- Right turn on a red allows progress,again,as it is safe to proceed.--------------------------------------------------------------- Right turn lanes allow access to right turn on a red,whereas lack of provision for the lane prevents safe progress when available.-------------------------------------------------------------- Left turns can completely immobilize a two-lane road if a left turn lane is not provided,potentially causing all following motorists to "miss" a light.------------------------------------------------------------------ Left turn "signals" at traffic lights can prevent the possibility of traffic light synchronization,due to additional time cars are arrested waiting,destroying the cyclical ebb and flow necessary for synchronization. --------------------------------------------------------------- Some U.S. cities prohibit left turns alltogether at controlled intersections( Hackensack,N.J. comes to mind ).Instead of the left turn,a right-sweeping cloverleaf is provided beyond the intersection,which orients the car as a left turn would,but without crossing traffic.By the time you sweep through the cloverleaf,the signal has changed to green in "your" direction and you travel on with little interruption in velocity.Clean,economical and safe.------------------------------------------------------------------ Commercial real estate development of "corner" property destroys any hope of developing high-efficiency intersections.------------------------------ For some existing " problem" intersections,it would be prudent to use emminent-domain,pay above-market price as compensation for the property,then move or demolish the developments and expand the intersection into this space for zero-stop traffic movement.Draconian in the short run,but huge dividends if we expect to have mobility into the future.----------------------------------------------------------------- Municipal Tax Appraisal Districts could be forbidden from even considering "corner" real estate for any purpose other than road infrastructure.---------------------------------------------------------- Ditto commercial real estate agents/brokers/owners.--------------------------------------------------------------- Commercial real estate development would be required to provide "seamless" egress and ingress off and onto streets,roads,arterials,with virtually no impact on traffic flow.-------------------------------------------------------------------- Ditto schools.------------------------------------------------------------ Ditto churches.---------------------------------------------------------- Ditto parks. ----------------------------------------------------------- Municipal,county,state employee,and public school retirement and pension systems should be prohibited from investments in any corporate entity involved with any facet of energy,construction,transportation,building materials,motor fuels,vehicles,their parts,service,repair,insurance,health-care,pharmaceuticals,etc. within the U.S.,so as not to project an image of impropriety or conflict of interest, when making governmental decisions or daily operations which impact the profitablity of these industries,especially when profits originate from governmentally-induced waste.---------------------------------------------------------------- That's the short-list.

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