Editor, The Beacon:
I love Tanner Andrews’ columns in The Beacon, but will take exception to his opinions of roundabouts. Having lived in Europe for many years where roundabouts or traffic circles are more commonplace than here, I can attest that they do work. Multilane ones are no less functional than single lanes. While not a panacea for every traffic problem, in many circumstances they are safer and an improvement over intersections.
The issue with the roundabouts constructed up to now in West Volusia and elsewhere locally is their design. First, they are all undersized. Double the diameter or size would be better; triple would be best from the standpoint of agility and safety.
Second, crosswalks are not supposed to be in proximity to the circle, especially close to where cars enter and exit. Third, driveways for entering and exiting businesses should not be directly attached to the roundabout itself but rather separated by a connector road (not as in front of the Walmart on South Woodland Boulevard).
Lastly, drivers need to be educated on their use. Since roundabouts have not been a common part of our road infrastructure until recently, motorists need to be taught the rules: Cars already in the roundabout have right of way, cars entering the roundabout need to yield to them. All should use their turn signals when exiting the circle.
As for the inefficiencies and poor judgment of the Florida Department of Transportation, I am in full agreement with Tanner.