The wonder of a roundabout

September 29, 2013 

The roundabout design is supposed to reduce traffic congestion, keep a uniform flow of traffic and mainly improve the continuous flow without the interruption of having to stop at traffic signals and other inconveniences.

Many of us are watching the daily project of our double roundabout, with almost a block in between, sort of looks like a large dumbbell. This 26-month, $4 million project is progressing. We could see the improved traffic flow already, when there were no on ramps to Illinois 15, no left turns onto Illinois 15, only single lane through traffic north to south. Some ramps have opened up and of course that does cause some hesitation.

Everyone is waiting with bated breath, awaiting the opening of the project. It will be so nice to have a smooth, continuous flow of nonstop traffic, no traffic lights. I see there will be a sidewalk for pedestrians to wait on until they can dash across traffic; much better than the mud and grass.

This might also discourage some of the traffic in and out of the adjacent businesses. I know in some towns it helped shut down businesses and reduced local traffic.

All in all, everyone is waiting to see these cute little toy roundabouts. Since they are only one lane wide I don't think they are real roundabouts, just another obstacle in busy intersections. Sure hope I am mistaken, but will admit the one in O'Fallon on Seven Hills Road is working well, particularly when there is no traffic. The one in Belleville works fine -- if you wait and let the other guy go first.

Lew Hiatt


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