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Roundabouts spur efficiency

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The recent negative letters about the proposed changes to Trinity Drive have motivated me to write.  Having driven in both France and Britain where roundabouts are extensively deployed, I can attest to their efficiency compared to traffic light intersections. They also help enforce the speed limit and drivers tend to be more attentive.  Both of these will help minimize accidents.  
In addition, after sitting behind cars in the Marimac Shopping Center trying to turn left onto Trinity, I can’t help but feel how nice it will be in the future, if the proposed roundabouts are built, when such cars simply always turn right and drive a short distance to the next roundabout where they then go completely around the traffic circle to go in the direction they want.  
This and the inherent efficient use of gasoline by cars not having to stop at traffic lights should be of particular interest with gasoline nearing $4/gal., and possibly $5/gal., by the end of summer.  
Finally, I note that coming into town, Trinity is only two lanes until you reach the Marimac Shopping Center where it then widens to four lanes.  
Certainly extending the two lanes all the way to Diamond Drive with right turn and left turn lanes where needed, as shown in the Option A1 Proposal, would be more than adequate even during our “rush” hour since most of the rush hour traffic is fed by the two lane N.M. 502.

Steve Tenbrink
Los Alamos
 

Common misconception

It is not hard to see the fallacy in the 2-lane argument. A two lane road at 50 mph can handle more traffic than a two lane road at 25-35 mph. Watch what happens at the speed-limit decrease on East Road during the morning commute: a traffic queue develops. You will see the same thing happen if you are on a 2-lane road following a 25 mph car or truck in a 35 mph speed zone.

There's a second common misconception: that 2-lane Trinity could carry all the traffic that the current 4-thru-traffic-lane roadway can. The Study itself admits that volume/capacity on Trinity is over 60%. Roughly, cutting the number of lanes from 4 to 2 cuts the capacity by 1/2, leading to over 100% usage. The results will be (1) congestion and (2) avoidance. Some people will tough it out, and be frustrated. Others will go around, make other roads more congested, and be frustrated.

If you are accepting MIG's work and P.R. at face value, I urge you to visit my website at www.wcmead.org where there is NM502-related information that examines downside consequences and risks of the plan.

William Mead