Round and round we'll go!
I’m not a traffic “expert” but with over 62 years of experience driving in many cities, most states and several countries, I have learned something about coordinating the movement of vehicles on streets and roads – the good, the bad and the ugly systems.
Westlake’s mayor and city council seems to be “going in circles” in considering a roundabout (traffic circle) at the intersection of Center Ridge and Canterbury roads. If they decide to build one, I hope they also put in some bleacher seats so we can watch the fun as drivers try to navigate around it. They are merry-go-rounds without the merry.
While roundabouts are useful in certain situations (more than four branches), they should be the solution of last resort given the trouble so many people seem to have in using them. Round and round some go, where to get off (or how) they just don’t seem to know. Such confusion exists even in areas where such circles are the established traffic system. I don’t know why this is so, it just is.
To add to already built-in confusion, a Westlake roundabout would have one branch coming up the Canterbury incline to enter from the north or going down it to the north to leave. I have usually only seen these circles on flat ground.
With all due respect to our planners, the proposal for a roundabout seems to be more of a desire to do something different rather than doing what is traditional.
I remain to be convinced that we need a roundabout instead of simple, familiar, practical turn lanes. However, if Westlake goes ahead with one, please reserve me a seat in the bleachers near the popcorn stand.
– Mel Maurer, Westlake
Mel Maurer lives in Westlake