Residents of the US have a lot of experience with signalized intersections,
and every one of us could make a pretty good list of pros and cons. Our
American spirit of independence tends to rebel when confronted by the
infamous and widely despised "red light"-- so much so that some
are willing to believe without much questioning that roundabouts must
fix all the irritations of traffic signals.
However, the "modern roundabout" is less familiar to many,
and it, too, has strengths and weaknesses. Weaknesses are in some cases
analogous to those of signals, including full stops and queues. Furthermore,
installing a roundabout is a big ticket item that would affect many people
for a long time. since the NM502 Corridor Study advocates installing one
or more on Trinity Dr. or East Rd. (currently proposing 9 of 'em!), we
should consider in advance not only the potential gains, but also the
disadvantages and risks.
For those who would like to read a general article that has wider scope
and less detail than the discussion here, I recommend Wikipedia's article
as interesting reading. :-)
Be sure to read about the "Hamburger roundabout/throughabout/cut-through
roundabout", which I believe might have been overlooked for consideration
among the alternatives of the NM502 Corridor Sudy. :-) Be aware, however,
that this roundabout design is nearly obsolete and that "A more advanced
and safer version of a hamburger roundabout is a roundabout interchange,
separating the straight roadway and using underpasses or overpasses to
cross the roundabout itself." Hahahahahaha! [I wrote the preceeding
and the next sentence while I still thought this was a pure joke.]
Do you suppose the safer version uses signals to make things safe in the
over- and under-passes and/or the roundabout itself? [Then, I found
out that this Hamburger really exists here.
And it already does have traffic signals! Is this why they call Australia
"Down Under"?] (-:
I am reassured (!) that the problems of roundabouts are "driving"