Mar 23, 2019
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About getting around

This semester had been going pretty well. I like my classes and I have a good job situation that pertains to my crazy schedule.

Everything would be golden in my life if it weren’t for one thing: the insufferable new roundabouts on campus.

I hate those stupid roundabouts!

I have already witnessed nearly ten near misses of intense accidents.

This town does not need another roundabout.

The majority of drivers in Fresno could hardly handle the two roundabouts in the River Park shopping area, so I don’t know what the developers for this roundabout were thinking when they added this one.

The only logical thing that I can think of that this roundabout would improve is that it might provide an easier way to get into the Farm Market.

From what I can recall, it was fairly easy to get in there before so I am still not convinced of it as a necessity.

According to a Web site I found that discusses modern roundabouts, it argues that “modern roundabouts have a potential to greatly reduce the number of pedestrians hit by cars in California. They also can reduce auto crash rates and improve vehicle flow.”

So far, I have not seen concrete evidence of either being true with this new roundabout. Fortunately, there have not been any actual accidents yet that I know of. However, there have been several near misses and that is just as unsettling to me as a driver.

As far as improving vehicle flow, so far I would have to say that if anything it has gotten worse.

I am not sure what caused the added congestion of traffic, but I can say that when I first moved into my apartment on Villa and Barstow, it only took five minutes to get to campus.

It was incredibly convenient to be able to just have smooth sailing straight down Barstow and get past two stop signs and be there.

The worst time of the day on that strip was 5 p.m., but that was nothing new. When Chestnut was closed, I timed it and it currently takes an additional 12 minutes to get to campus. That extra seven minutes really does make a difference when you’re trying to be on time to your next class.

Now, the ones I really feel sorry for right now are those riding their bicycles to class. The developers took out their bike lane and now they have to ride in front of the frustrated cars because it slows down the traffic even more.

A discussion forum on fresnogasprices.com asked people if they have ever used roundabouts before and what they thought of them.

Several people agreed that they work all right in areas with light traffic, but many people still don’t know how to use them.

One person said exactly what I think would apply to most Fresno drivers in regards to roundabouts, “They’re all over the place here in Maryland. They’d work better if the local drivers understood ‘yield’ and ‘merge.’”

Yes, roundabouts can be fun to ride around and around in the dead of night as many times as you can before you get carsick, but for too many people here in Fresno, they are still very unfamiliar.

If more drivers would pay attention and relax more with roundabouts, they wouldn’t panic when they came to one and second guess their actions that hinders the flow of traffic.

If drivers would practice this, then maybe next semester will be even better than this one.

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