Regarding the proposed roundabout, and the most recent letters, here and here, I’d like to express an opinion, and two facts.
I’d like to express my agreement (opinion) with the letter-writers, though Mr. Mead is more optimistic with a 20 percent expectation of Roundabout Valhalla compared to my 0 percent.
One fact is that unlike anywhere else I walk in Los Alamos, our current roundabout is a golden opportunity for guaranteed successful suicide-by-crosswalk for a pedestrian. One need merely assert right of way in crossing at the crosswalk, heading east at the southern end. The motorists that are merely blithely unaware of pedestrians are bad enough; the ones who are clearly playing chicken with pedestrians surely deserve conviction for attempted vehicular homicide. Evidently, though, these behaviors are tolerated in our community.
The other fact is that I have seen (driven on) roundabouts in Europe that worked, even with considerable traffic at fairly high speed. They worked only because of (all of) the following reasons:
There were no bicyclists;
There were no pedestrian crossings;
They were multi-lane (at least three); and
They had enormous diameters, such that entering and exiting was much like entering an exiting a freeway.
I’d bet on Mr. Mead’s scenario of it being built, being ultimately found unworkable, then being built again, all of course at taxpayer expense (and lives and injuries). In the meantime, I did my taxes yesterday and was reminded that my LA County property tax bill was up ~10 percent over last year, hmm.