WHEN IS A ROUNDABOUT NOT A ROUNDABOUT? WHEN IT IS THE WINOOSKI TRAFFIC CIRCLE!
WCAX-TV ran a story on the Winooski, VT city center traffic circle, erroneously titling the piece “roundabout” as the huge 500 by 200 foot circle could easily contain three to four normal size roundies. The story outlines efforts to improve walk mode safety by discontinuing the signals mid-oval crossing and improving crosswalks. Unfortunately this is less than a halfway measure—my comment on the story posted today:
First, the story describes the traffic status circle well--the WCAX newsroom with the block letters on the circle photo "ROUNDABOUT" completely fouled up. The Winooski traffic circle is just that--a traffic circle which some regional planners call a "traffic circulator." Second, a roundabout--like those in downtown Middlebury, Montpelier and soon on Burlington's Shelburne Street (all one laners) are 120 feet in diameter or less compared to the 400-plus feet top to bottom and about 200 foot-plus width Winooski circle, a size easily containing all three of the Middlebury/Montpelier/Burlington roundies with lot of room to spare. Unfortunately, serious and probably fatal injuries at the large Winooski facility will continue--the only answer is to reconfigure the entire central area, install two normal size roundabouts, and allocate the large amount of additional space for use by businesses, wider walkways, and greenspace at the perimeter. Those who walk now be forewarned of the continued danger at the current circle.