T-N letter to the editor: Roundabouts


To the editor: While I’m aware that both the N.C. Department of Transportation and the Times-News have wholly embraced the installation of roundabouts, it would be worthy to consider their “fit” with senior citizen drivers, of which there are an ever-increasing number (I include myself).

Consider: The driver entering a roundabout must first evaluate the position and speed of the vehicle on his left. At 25 mph, that vehicle is traveling at 33 feet per second (two car lengths).

At the same time, the entering vehicle must evaluate the vehicle to his right. Is it exiting? Is it stopping for some unapparent reason? Will there be enough room to pull onto the roundabout without forcing the oncoming car to make a hard stop?

Unlike a traffic light-controlled intersection, a roundabout offers no protection for the less-confident driver.

Yes, people run traffic lights every day, but that’s not the fault of the light. And yes, some senior citizens ought to not drive, but where’s public transportation?

Roundabouts put ordinarily competent seniors in driving situations where rapid evaluation of complex traffic patterns is critical. I fail to see where this is going to either reduce accidents or increase traffic flow.

Alfred Lockwood, Hendersonville

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