by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
Drivers on Hillsborough Street are still flummoxed by a twin-ring roundabout that replaced the stoplight at Pullen Road more than a year ago. And they’re still crashing their mopeds, bikes and cars there.
Eighty accidents have been reported since traffic began rolling around the two-lane circle in July 2010.
Wait, make that 84. Let’s add four crashes over the weekend in the roundabout in front of N.C. State University’s Bell Tower.
As reporter Bruce Siceloff also observes, “Now that the red light is gone from the corner of Hillsborough and Pullen, the main thing that stops cars there is collisions with others.”
It’s no surprise to me or anyone else who has driven the thing that it is creating accidents. There are good roundabouts, intuitive roundabouts, and then there’s this thing. Why there would be an inner lane on a traffic circle with only righthand turns is especially confusing. Though, to be fair, a major downtown artery shut down in both directions because of yet another accident would technically count as “traffic calming.”
What is news to me, however, is that the City of Raleigh has published an instruction booklet offering “Driving Tips” for navigating the roundabout. To me that’s a clear admission that city planners realized at some level that this roundabout was poorly planned.