Both of our new roundabouts — at the intersections of Pat Dixon Road and Collins Street, and Pat Dixon Road and Charles Rogers Boulevard — are now operational.
There is still work to be done before the projects are complete but traffic is now flowing through both of them.
I spent a few minutes watching traffic flow there and there is, as expected, still a learning curve. Some people are stopping at the intersections when no stop is required. Most, however, are driving through the roundabouts with no problems whatsoever.
There are a few easy things to remember about traversing a roundabout.
1 – Traffic flows in a counter-clockwise direction, just like on racecar tracks and track and field facilities.
2 – The traffic in the roundabout has the right of way. Any driver about to enter the roundabout should yield to those already in there.
3 – If there is no traffic when you arrive at the roundabout, it is not necessary to stop, just as there is no need to stop at a yield sign if the traffic is clear. Just continue driving into the roundabout in a counterclockwise direction and when you get to the street on which you want to travel, just make a right turn to exit the roundabout and get onto your street.
When school opens in two weeks, there’s sure to be some initial confusion. But I feel confident that once the driving public gets used to them we will all find that, as expected, the intersections will be safer and traffic flow will improve. Just give it a chance.
Years ago, when Tallahassee and Cromartie streets were changed to one-way pairing, there was initial confusion and accidents occurred too frequently — sometimes because of people driving the wrong way but mostly when people tried to make left turns out of the right lane without making sure the left lane was clear.
Over time, people adjusted.
There are many people today who never experienced the frustration of crossing Tallahassee Street when it was two-way traffic. It was an absolute nightmare.
The opposition to the change was strong but we survived and the community is better for it.
When the four-way stop was put up at the intersection of Jefferson Street (Snipesville/Broxton Hwy.) and Charles Rogers Blvd., there was also initial confusion and accidents occurred too frequently.
But now traffic flows through the intersection much more safely than before.
While there were those who argued that four-way stops would be better at the roundabout locations, heavy before- and after-school traffic would have created a monumental traffic backup had four-way stops been installed.
While there are some people who think people in Jeff Davis County are too “unsophisticated” to maneuver through roundabouts, I don’t share that view. People in Jeff Davis County are not that backward.
If you are an experienced roundabout driver, be patient with those who are not. Some people will have a learning curve, but that, too, will pass.