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: http://www.dot.state.wi.us/safety/motorist/roaddesign/roundabouts/av/roundabout.swf
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.