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History may shed bit of light on testy topic

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The howls of protest recently over roundabouts on NM 502 are reminiscent of when the roundabout was proposed for the four way stop at San Ildefonso Road and Diamond Drive (2000?).
At that time, morning traffic regularly backed up to the top of North Mesa and halfway up Barranca, and a vehicle fatality had recently occurred there, too.  
Roundabout detractors regaled the community with predictions of total traffic collapse and pedestrian slaughter if a roundabout was constructed.
Ten years later, (and admittedly after a bit of a learning curve) there are no lines during rush hour, and no stops at all the rest of the day.  How great is that?
Roundabouts on Trinity are a different animal, but the general idea is we’d swap time sitting at red lights for slower average travel speeds.
We’ll also get better bicycle and pedestrian access and safer intersections in the bargain.
The work presented (simulated and empirical) indicates no increase in rush hour travel time, and during off-peak hours, no stops would be a significant benefit!  
Someone recently suggested a trial run, with the scary conclusion that if Trinity was narrowed to one lane in each direction the results would be gridlock.
It would only be a fair trial if a turn lane was also added, and the traffic signals turned off and replaced with a cone-simulated roundabout.
Citizen votes at the meetings so far have been strongly in favor of the roundabout option, (53 plus percent); I encourage everyone interested to go to the next meeting and find out why.

Mike Steinzig
Los Alamos