In A Roundabout Way

The town in which we live was originally a small quaint farming community.  These days,  that small quaint farming community — which used to be 10 miles from its closest neighbor —  is “nestled” under the hairy armpits of the other once quaint farming communities.

And now, none of these communities are neither small nor particularly quaint.  We are more like a bunch of fat guys on an airplane – all squeezing over into our neighbor’s space and fighting over the elbow rest.

It is not a town without some charm though.  Within the space of a block you can find homes wherein high-paid athletes live behind big stone fences and other homes wherein disinterested Billy goats live behind chain link fences.  And we live somewhere in between.  We have neither a big stone fence nor a Billy goat.


As you might imagine, the expansion of so many people into an area that was intended for slow moving tractors and Billy goats has created traffic problems.  And the city’s response to this problem has been roundabouts.

Roundabouts are a Yankee thing, and well, it’s taking some getting used to for us slow moving southern dwellers.  We only know how to do the four-way stop, and even that, seems to be a challenge for some of us.

And it gets even more complicated when you have to negotiate the roundabout while it’s under construction.

So the other day, we approached the intersection that is near our house and discovered that it was being transformed into one of them fancy roundabouts.  There were barricades up and chunks of road had been torn out and traffic was being diverted and re-directed and nothing was where it used to be.  Drivers were entering the roundabout, not knowing exactly what to do — some stopping completely, some yielding and others just zippin’ through.  People were honking and throwing their hands up in the air.

From the back seat, Sean perfectly assesses the situation with his signature wit.  “Instead of a roundabout,” he said, “they should call it a Round of Doubt!”

And from henceforth, it shall be known…

10 thoughts on “In A Roundabout Way

  1. They have just started to install these here in Minnesota. Minnesotan’s are not the world’s best drivers to begin with, so it has been quite an experience!


  2. Ahhh…Circles -as known by fellow Jerseyans. L O V E them….you can always tell a newbie as they approach with caution- ever so slowly then… Stop on the approach of the circle! (See… the trick is to throw caution to the wind and go!….dont let other drivers see you slow down or perhaps vear out of the way to avoid a collision) 🙂


  3. I lived in Qatar for a while and the round abouts are everywhere there. The key is to find an opening and get in. Don’t stop in the middle. If it’s a two lane round about make sure you are in the correct lane to begin with (right lane for right and straight, left lane for left and u-turns) and everything will work out fine.


  4. Come to Britain. See the roundabout in action. You will never love the 4-way stop again.

    But yes, I can imagine that in your situation, the Round of Doubt would be a good name. It could be a couple of generations before every driver knows what to do, so you could be in for the long haul.


  5. Sean has it right! I call them glorified 4-way stops. Except some folks treat them as if it is always “their turn”.

    I am not a fan of these “traffic controlling devices”.


  6. I am not a super big fan of the roundabout. It only works when everybody knows what to do and I think that’s my problem. I don’t always jump in there like I should. So I guess the problem is me. Not the roundabout. hmmm…


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