Saturday, July 27, 2013

Conservatives Will Be Upset, In A Roundabout Way

I have to chuckle when I read that even in the Walker era, Wisconsin continues to install more traffic roundabouts, the Journal Sentinel reports.

The Right around here is about as fixated on roundabouts as they are on ObamaCare, Solidarity Singers and Food Stamps because they prove that bureaucrats and other Big Guvmint bosses are tampering with their rights - - in this case, their God-given Natural American Freedom Right to make old-fashioned right turns or drive straight-through intersections after idling away gasoline behind slowpokes at lights and or stop signs.

Righty radio talker Mark Belling and State Senator Mary Lazich, the pride of heavily-Republican New Berlin, have screamed the loudest.

You may remember Sen. Lazich from some of her earlier highlights - - like making prank calls felonies in Wisconsin("Do you have Prince Albert in a can?" Well, you're going to the slammer if you do!)

She's written that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation was on a "roundabout rampage" - -  and, separately, a "roundabout binge" - - but apparently no one even at the Walker-run WisDOT can hear her. 

Something about stupid safety data and other efficiencies - - real European stuff, like man purses and mimes.

Or local control, a rock-ribbed Republican principle - - except when it comes to residency rules, public employee contracts, ground water protection, frac sand air quality, treaty-protected lands, and other trivialities.

Anyway - - one side note. The Journal Sentinel says roundabouts are some sort recent foreign import to the US:

Common in Europe, roundabouts first came to the U.S. in the 1990s and to Wisconsin in 1999. 
Not actually true: traffic circles, as they are sometimes called, are common in East Coast cities, like Boston and DC.

I grew up near one of these horrors in the Maryland suburbs, yet managed to learn as a 15-year-old student driver to navigate it. Though circular, it did not pose a major learning curve, and didn't have politics.

Moreover, major boulevards in Washington, DC, like Connecticut Ave. are absolutely infested with them, yet the city survives.

Dupont Circle in Northwest DC seems to be thriving:


Anonymous said...

Belling doesn't like them because that's less time idling at a traffic light listening to his garbage.

Same with trains and mass trans.

Michael J. said...

They seem to have a problem with things that go around in circles, like wind turbines!

Rev. paleotectonics said...

They are going in quickly in W.WI, Prescott, Hudson, River Falls. Also migrated into the miserable swamp I live in (MN). I love 'em, myself, but also get entertainment from my co-workers (one from Prescott) crabbing about them.

AUH2O GOP said...

tsgskyAnyone who doesn't "get" roundabouts should immediately surrender their driver's license and take remedial geometry. A stop sign is an octagon and means "STOP";a yield sign is a triangle and means "YIELD" . Don't be confused that both signs are red
and white.

Roundabouts are efficient and easy to manipulate if your dexterity exceeds that of a 3-year old and your IQ exceeds 40.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

It's a government project that works. OF COURSE Republicans hate them, they disprove everything they ever say about government not being able to do anything.

Anonymous said...

Of course righties hate roundabouts. You have to yield to the left.

James Sinclair said...

Your post confuses traffic circles (Dupont), rotaries (Boston) and modern roundabouts.

Theyre not the same. Its like calling a 2 way stop, a 4 way stop and a traffic light the same thing.