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Reader's Forum
Roundabout isn’t the way to go
Article published on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013
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Editor:
I was new to Belleair last October and November when the proposed roundabout at Indian Rocks Road, Ponce De Leon Road, and Palmview Avenue was supposedly discussed at length in town hearings. It is obvious from the recent “Belleair Bee” article that this is not a common perception. I know about the intersection in question. It is a problem intersection. I understand the need to fix it. There is another one just like it where Rosery and Osceola Roads cross Indian Rocks Road, also which I understand is slated(?) for the same treatment.

First: I believe that the commissioners do not understand the function of a roundabout. The first thing you would notice entering a proper roundabout is there are no stop signs, only yield signs. The purpose of a roundabout is to facilitate the ease of traffic flow, not to stop or reduce it. If you drive in England, there are no stop signs on roundabout – just like the Clearwater Beach roundabout.

Second: Maybe the commissioners are not very familiar with driving around a roundabout. Many people here may not be familiar with the rules of the road concerning roundabouts. Who has the right of way upon entering, exiting and driving in the roundabout? If drivers don’t know, that’s where problems occur. The police officers will be busy.

Third: The commissioners are right; it is a bad intersection. It is very difficult to pull out into the intersection. Maybe changing the intersection into a four-way stio and block direct access of Palmview Avenue, which may anger those residents, but may make the intersection safer.

Fourth: A roundabout will not make it safe for pedestrians to cross Indian Rocks Road. Traffic will not be stopping at a proper roundabout. It will be moving around the circle unhindered. Remember ease traffic flow – the Clearwater Beach roundabou). You want a safe crossing? Make the intersection a four-way STOP.

If the intent of the exercise is to reduce traffic flow – sounds like the mayor’s intent – and to make safer pedestrian crossings, the roundabout(s) is not the way to achieve either. And then there is the matter of the half-million-dollar price tag for each roundabout.

Ross Whitaker
Belleair
Article published on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013
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