Roundabouts are key to continuous-flow

-A A +A

Council has an opportunity, on Tuesday, to move to improve Trinity Drive for all citizens. The proposed Option A “continuous-flow” road design is not a new, untested road strategy invented by communists to slow everyone down. It’s a proven design that has been implemented all over the country and is growing in popularity.
Remember the scene from the movie “Airplane” where the passengers are told to assume crash positions by sprawling themselves across the plane? Well, assume crash positions Los Alamos, because the key to continuous-flow roadways are “modern roundabouts.”
What is proposed in Option A is a single lane continuous-flow road that has two additional periodic lanes for left and right turns with bus pullouts, etc. A wide right shoulder that includes a bike lane serves as the place to pull over when emergency vehicles pass.
The key to continuous-flow is always keeping the traffic lane moving.  Drivers turn out of the traffic lane to make turns.  Modern roundabouts allow drivers to continue through intersections without waiting for traffic signals.
Traffic moves more slowly and safely. Pedestrians cross only one lane of traffic at a time, instead of our current five lanes. It’s been shown that a continuous-flow road gets drivers to their destinations quicker, even in peak traffic conditions.
Some of the most important benefits of the modern roundabout are:  reducing congestion, helping the environment by reducing carbon emissions by double digits, decreasing fuel consumption by as much as 30 percent (idling cars waste fuel), lower costs than traffic signals and less expensive maintenance costs.  
But, the most important benefit of all, modern roundabouts reduce injury accidents by 75 percent and fatal accidents by 90 percent.  
Let’s face it, our population in Los Alamos is aging (me included). Shouldn’t we be doing everything we can to make our streets safer and more efficient for everyone, including our senior drivers and senior pedestrians?  Go to www.trinitydr.info <http://www.trinitydr.info/> for more detailed information.
Greg Kendall
Los Alamos

Don't believe everything you read

The P.R. experts are trying to get you (and the rest of us). There is a cult that believes roundabouts can fix all the problems of traffic signals all the time. Not true. Although some parts of the roundabout story have elements of reality, there is also a lot of fantasy. "Continuous flow" is one of the fairy tales. Sometimes, yes; sometimes no; NM502, no.

Take a look at www.wcmead.com where I discuss the downsides of roundabouts and some major problems with the NM502 study.

William Mead

A cheaper solution

Try using the one roundabout in the morning when kids are going to Barranca and the Middle School and workers are going to work to see how continuous it isn't!

Wouldn't be cheaper to simply install traffic sensors at the traffic signals than to subject the traffic flow to literally years of construction related disruption?

Of course, traffic sensors only work if they're programmed properly. I counted no less that 3 sensors of some type at each corner of Orange/Trinity (12+ total) and I still have to cut through the High School parking lot to get out in less than 5 minutes of idling, especially in the morning!