Home Budget & Tax News Stossel: Governments' Roundabout Ways Curb Productivity

Stossel: Governments’ Roundabout Ways Curb Productivity

By John Stossel

I hate waiting at traffic lights.

There’s a solution: traffic circles, or roundabouts.

Traffic circles terrified me when I first confronted them in Europe. A movie, National Lampoon’s European Vacation, captured my experience when it portrayed Chevy Chase driving in London, unable to exit a rotary all day.

Besides being hard to navigate, I also assumed roundabouts cause problems, but a Freakanomics podcast woke me to their advantages. Roundabouts are a reason Britain’s rate of traffic deaths is less than half the U.S.’s.

“We’ve converted almost all of our traffic lights to roundabouts because we save lives,” says the mayor of Carmel, Indiana, Jim Brainard. His little town now has 133 roundabouts.

A University of Wisconsin-Madison study confirmed that roundabouts save lives. Roundabouts increased crashes a bit, but deaths and injuries dropped by 38%.

It’s because of the angle of the cars, says Brainard. “Instead of a T-bone, you got a sideswipe.”

Roundabouts also slow cars down a little, giving drivers more time to react.

“That makes it seem like it’ll take longer for cars to get through intersections,” I say to Brainard.

“It really doesn’t,” he responds. “A roundabout moves 50% more traffic than a traffic light.”

More than a four-way stop sign intersection, too, according to a test run by the TV show Mythbusters.

Roundabouts are also better for the environment. “You never come to a complete stop,” Brainard points out. “Tremendous amounts of fuel are saved.”

Indianapolis realtor Jason Compton says roundabouts even increase the value of homes “because they just flat out look better [by adding] more green space.”

Sometimes communities put artwork in the middle.

Bottom line: Roundabouts are safer, cost less, move more traffic and are better for the environment.

Yet, most Americans still say, “I don’t want these things,” I tell Brainard. “They’re confusing. I’m more likely to have an accident!”

“Well, it takes public education,” he responds. “Chevy Chase didn’t do us any favors.”

Brainard points out that Chase was stuck in a large rotary, not a roundabout. Some traffic circles and rotaries have many lanes. The one by Paris’ Arc De Triomphe connects 12 roads!

“Those are dangerous,” says Brainard. “That’s not what we’re building. Modern roundabouts are small; the smaller they are, the safer they become. They’re very different.”

Europe learned that lesson. European countries are building lots of small roundabouts.

“America is way behind,” I tell Brainard.

“America is catching up,” he replies. “When I started, we probably had under a couple of hundred in the United States. Today, we’re pushing five or six thousand.”

That’s progress.

Still, his little town, with just 97,000 residents, has 2% of all the roundabouts in America.

John Stossel is author of “Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media.” For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2021 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.

John Stossel
Award-winning news correspondent John Stossel is currently with Fox Business Network and Fox News. Before making the change to Fox News, Stossel was the co-anchor of ABC News's "20/20." Eight to 10 million people watched his program weekly. Often, he ended "20/20" with a TV column called "Give Me a Break," which challenged conventional wisdom.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Illinois Democrats Launch a Cultural Revolution

In these head-spinning times, first principles about government are all in play: what it’s for, and how it relates to the people. Not long ago,...

‘Huge Win for Democracy’: GOP Blocks Federal Election Takeover

By Fred Lucas An attempted federal takeover of elections was thwarted Tuesday, as Senate Republicans voted to block further debate on the legislation. With Vice President...

Biden Administration Revoking Trump-Era Benefit-Cost Clean Air Regulations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has begun the process of reversing a rule implemented by the agency under the administration of then President Donald Trump, requiring transparency of the scientific and economic justifications of regulations imposed by EPA to limit air pollution.

Florida Makes Sure Schools Teach Evils of Communism, Totalitarianism

By Jarrett Stepman The revolt against indoctrinating students and other Americans with critical race theory is ramping up, despite left-wing denial and opposition. But a simple reaction...
- Advertisement -

Recent Comments

MaryJean38@Comcast.net on CDC Ignores Scientific Studies on Masks
Many Climate Crisis Claims Are Based on Manipulated Science on How to End Biden’s Fake Climate Apocalypse
Scottar Brooke on Free Speech? Forget It.
Randy M Verret on The Gaslight Election
S. T. Karnick on The Gaslight Election
Randy M Verret on The Gaslight Election
S. T. Karnick on The Gaslight Election
Randy M Verret on The Gaslight Election
S. T. Karnick on The Gaslight Election
Randy Verret on The Gaslight Election
Randy Verret on The Gaslight Election
Breonna Taylor Settlement: What it means for No-knock Warrants – Gun News on U.S. Senator Attacked by Mob
Breonna Taylor Settlement: What it means for No-knock Warrants ~ N6AQ.com on U.S. Senator Attacked by Mob