Roundabouts are the way to go

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By The Staff

Revitalized White Rock!  That’s the goal of all of us who have watched our town lose its charming village atmosphere where we could satisfy most of our needs locally.  

If we want to slow traffic traveling through to Bandelier National Monument, the lab, or our homes and allow pedestrians to cross N.M. 4 safely, then roundabouts are the best choice.  Do we really want four traffic lights with their stop/go polluting effect (think Cerrillos Road or Trinity Drive) when we could have roundabouts that permit slower but steady traffic flow that actually allows cars to travel through White Rock in less time than the traffic signal option?  Do people want to replace the roundabout at San Ildefonso/Diamond with stop signs or traffic lights?  The roundabout permits drivers to keep traveling or to yield briefly rather than sit at a light idling when there is no other traffic.  Roundabouts, not ugly traffic lights, help us keep our mountain vistas and create an inviting scenic impression on tourists who will be encouraged to stop at Metzger’s, Home Run Pizza, and Smith’s after parking at the Visitor Center/transit hub complex.  Slower traffic makes it easier to stop at a restaurant or get some sunny exercise on the Canada del Buey pathway.

Two facts support this view of roundabouts:  Slow, steady traffic allows better, safer flow than stop/start traffic lights, and roundabouts are cheaper to build and maintain than traffic lights.   Europeans have known this for years can’t we learn?

Thomas and Rebecca Shankland

White Rock