One roundabout, we can handle that. Two roundabouts, that is starting to stretch it.
But three roundabouts within a mile? That just makes us downright dizzy.
The state Department of Transportation is proposing three roundabouts within less than a mile of one another on Highway 38 in Racine.
One would be at the intersection with Spring Street, the second would be at Memorial Drive, and now a third is being proposed at the intersection with High and Albert streets, which is near John Paul II Academy and Gilmore Middle School.
Here we go, around and around again.
It reminds us of the Oshkosh area where you exit off the highway and you are immediately twirling around multiple roundabouts, one after another.
It’s too much even for drivers experienced with roundabouts.
Every time a new roundabout is proposed, there is outcry from a select group in the community.
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Some people fear them. Many people don’t like change. Period.
In general, we have advocated for roundabouts.
They help with traffic flow, save energy because they don’t require traffic lights and overall increase safety.
Roundabouts tend to lower speeds and reduce the chances of fatalities or serious injuries in a crash, according to a 2013 safety study conducted by the University of Wisconsin Traffic Operations and Safety laboratory.
While accidents can still happen, according to the Department of Transportation, roundabouts are supposed to soften the blow of potential car accidents by forcing cars to enter intersections much more slowly than they normally would, which largely eliminates the possibility of high-speed, head-on collisions and T-bone crashes.
At the same time, we have heard about a fair share of accidents involving semitrailers tipping over that had a hard time navigating the roundabouts.
We have encouraged the public to embrace them because it’s clear they are not going away.
But the idea of three roundabouts in a row is reminiscent of the scene from “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” where the Griswold family ends up driving around a London roundabout for hours on end because they cannot get out.
There are only so many circles drivers should be put through.
We hope the state and city keep that in mind before making area residents drive through any more circles, especially in a one-mile stretch of road.