Letters (Nov. 20, 2013)

Roundabout at K-150 is needed

In response to Mary Clemmer?s letter on the roundabout (at U.S. High?way 56/77 and K-150, Nov. 13 issue), I agree with her that this intersection has a clear view in all directions and commend her for wanting to save tax money, which is really our money.
However, I disagree that the roundabout is a waste of our money. Studies have shown this be one of the most dangerous intersections in the state and there have many serious accidents there.
One might ask why such a well-marked and clear view intersection has so many accidents. My opinion is that those facts may actually be why there are so many. U.S. 77 traffic does not have to stop, and their confidence that the other traffic will stop removes any sense of caution on their part. By the time they realize the other traffic is not going to stop, it is too late to do anything.
There are many reasons why the 56/150 traffic fails to stop but I won?t get into them now.
Roundabout design has been improved greatly since the days of the old traffic circles, and indeed all those old circles should be replaced with current designs. The new designs incorporate new features and their improved safety is well documented. They are very effective at allowing safe traffic flow with minimum restrictions of the flow. There are many reasons why they are safer than stop signs and flashing lights, but I do not have the space to list them.
As to truck traffic and large loads, they are designed to handle this type of traffic. The one planned for this intersection has additional features in its design that will accommodate these large oversize loads she described.
The roundabout at Florence is working very well. I do not like the design of the ones at Emporia and Newton, but they are serving an entirely different purpose than a simple intersection.
I encourage everyone to support this roundabout at the intersection of U.S. 56/77 and K-150.
Paul White,
Marion