Monday, July 26, 2010

Roundabouts strike again!!

I witnessed my first crash at the Jackson and Murdock roundabout Sunday evening.  I was on the way back home around 7:00 pm after a long day of doing doors on the Northside when I was witness to two women colliding broadside in the Roundabout.

The situation was very similar to one that I was involved in just a week after the roundabout opened.  I was in the left lane heading east on Murdock with plans to continue "straight" through the roundabout.  According to the DOT's roundabout website:

this is an allowable maneuver from the inside lane.  In my situation, a driver in a pickup truck entered from Northbound Jackson Street into the righthand lane--assuming that I was on the inside to make a "left-hand" turn" onto NB Jackson as well.  So he cut me off as I tried to continue along Murdock.  Fortunately, I avoided a crash by locking up the brakes.  Unfortunately for the women on Sunday evening they crashed into each other.

After they both got out of their cars, the argument started as to why someone in the left lane of a two lane roundabout can make a "righthand" turn in front of someone else.  The woman with the right of way pointed to the signs above the roundabout showing the "straight" arrow for that lane--but the other driver wasn't buying it.  I did not stay for the cops to arrive and set everyone straight (I thought they were going to be monitoring that intersection for such situations.)  Apparently, they both missed the "Roundabout School" the DOT held in Oshkosh on Saturday.

Anyway, this crash happened at a time when there was very little traffic at the roundabout--in fact, these were two of just three vehicles at the intersection at the time--yet they still ran into each other.  Would the same thing have occurred if we still had stoplights there?  I highly doubt it--since one of the drivers would have been sitting at a red light.

My wife had the same reaction as the "striking" driver in the crash:  how can the inside lane "turn right"?  I told her that from now on, IF THERE IS ANY OTHER VEHICLE IN THE ROUNDABOUT--NO MATTER WHERE THEY ARE AND IN WHAT DIRECTION THEY ARE HEADING--STAY OUT OF THE ROUNDABOUT!!  Yes, the people behind you will start honking and yelling profanities at you--but it's the only way to ensure your safety from now on.

PS:  I hope a permanent Police Field Office is planned next to the roundabouts coming to the 41-21 Interchange in the future.


  1. The rest of the world uses roundabouts. Only idiots ( read republicans) can't figure them out

  2. Low impact collision, wasn't it? No one was hurt, were they? Hmmm...they seem to be working. I would be willing to bet they number of accidents at that intersection is DOWN since the roundabout opened.

    I have used it several times without incident. Settle down, Jon. Settle down.

    On another note, can you please post some original thoughts on your twitter account? You do nothing but link news articles. How about something from Jonathan, instead of having us read an article someone else read. It seems to be your MO of late.

  3. I have been through that round-about several times (as a passenger, not the driver) and it scares me every time; no one seems to get the idea that the drivers to your left have the right of way, and lots of drivers lay on the horn when the car in front of them yields correctly...I have even seen a couple of people make their left hand turn going the wrong way through the intersection. I can't imagine what it will be like when all the round abouts are in place...I might have to move!

  4. I've seen some stupid decisions made at that round about such as turning left by going the counter clockwise, but I also see cars slowing down, being careful, and trying to avoid accidents, something you don't usually see in Oshkosh.

    Also, I have yet to see traffic backed up more than 2 cars, which is pretty damn good for a busy intersection.

  5. I'm in total agreement with you Jonathan, when will the people that such have high regards for roundabouts, WAKE UP to the fact that roundabouts are NOT as good as they and the D.O.T. think they are. But I guess we should be nice to the disabled that are slow to THINK. In the end they "might" realize the true downfalls.

  6. These roundabouts in Oshkosh are too small and poorly designed. First, there should only be one entrance lane into a roundabout so that nobody is crossing lanes of traffic to enter. Second, you should only be exiting from the right lane, once again so that nobody is crossing lanes of traffic. Third, the roundabouts should be AT LEAST double the size they are so they can be used properly. Roundabouts are made to be entered from the right lane, then you move to the inside lane, and after passing the exit prior to where you want to exit you move back to the left hand lane. Other places I have used them have been designed for them to be used properly, not in the half baked way that everything the city of Oshkosh engineers seem to do things! Just my opinions and thoughts.

  7. Just a correction to my previous post....You should move back to the RIGHT lane after passing the exit prior to where you wish to exit.