Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The man who invented the roundabout (Eugene Henard, although Frank Blackmore invented the mini-roundabout I believe) should have been given a Nobel prize. This was a major improvement in road design, saving lives and aiding traffic flow. An innovation that deserves a massive amount of credit. So why, o why, is there an apparent fetish for sticking traffic lights on the things. Milton Keynes and Northampton have both suffered from a rash of treaffic lights sprouting up at roundabouts. And they completely defeat the purpose. The whole point of a roundabout is to keep a smooth flow of traffic. The moment you throw lights up then the flow stops. Then at peak times the roundabout becomes clogged. There is no room for new cars to enter and, at times, it even becomes impossible to escape. If lights are required then make it a junction, at least the road doesn't become blocked. But preferably just leave the roundabout alone and let it do its job.