Replace Gates Circle with safer roundabout

A recent letter writer only hit the outer ring of the bull’s-eye on his call to bring better pedestrian crossings to the area around Gates Circle. Traffic circles are obsolete and dangerous relics from a distant age of traffic engineering. The intersection should be updated to a modern roundabout, hailed as a safer alternative to both traffic circles and signalized intersections.

The success of the roundabout is attributed to an optimized geometrical alignment slowing traffic speeds and allowing for safe, uninterrupted flow of traffic through the circle. Roundabouts use one or two lanes to safely move cars at slow speeds around the circular roadway, and are designed to allow cars to exit and enter without any conflict.

A one-lane roundabout would be extremely effective in Gates Circle by preventing cars from crossing paths while entering or exiting, while also slowing traffic down. A modern roundabout also encompasses the crosswalks the writer was asking for, and the pedestrian islands and numerous signage required.

Roundabouts are quickly winning favor in the United States and are becoming more commonplace. Europe and Australia have recognized the added safety benefits, and it is time we promote roundabout acceptance in America by converting outdated signals and traffic circles to this proven, safer alternative. An added bonus is you will never complain about lights not being synchronized ever again.

Ryan Kopera