Monday, August 8, 2011

This will be interesting

On several past occasions on my blog, I have explained my positive experiences with roundabouts.  For one reason or another, people in Lincoln still seem a little skittish about this form of intersection, despite the overwhelming evidence that they have reduced collisions and improved traffic flow.

Well, we have a pair of new ones about to open, which will immediately be put to the test.  The acid test, as in around 85,000 football fans coming and going to the University of Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium at the September 3 season opener for the Cornhusker football team. 

Even I, defender of roundabouts that I have been, am waiting to see how this works out.  I trust those engineers, because experience tells me that they are almost always right about such matters, but somewhere back in the dark recesses of my mind rest a lot of memories of herding cats at UNL football games. 

Officer Aaron Moore made a remark to me one day that added a new phrase to my vocabulary.  He had about a decade of experience handling one 10th and O Street on game days, one of the busiest intersections in the City. The overpass there was closed one year for construction.  One leg of this massive arterial simply dropped off the edge of the earth.  We all knew it would be an interesting season for Aaron and his colleagues at 10th and O.  After the first game, I asked him how it went.  He said that people kept pulling up to the intersection, coming to a full stop, completely befuddled about what to do next, just staring at the barricades “like a cow looking at a new gate.”  You’ve got to love that Nebraska-ism, which I have oft repeateded, usually garnering a perplexed look from the city slickers in the audience.

We shall see how the drivers deal with this new gate in a few weeks. 

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I noticed between the two roundabouts the model doesn't show lane changes. What happens is an accident at that location?

Anonymous said...

You drive through 14 & Warlick on most days, don't you? Has anyone thought about some sort of roundabout there? Unlike most established areas (27th & O, etc), there seems to be room there for a larger-diameter rotary without doing too much eminent domain confiscation.

Anonymous said...

I don't get all the excitement about these round abouts. Yeah, sure the engineers say that once you get used to driving on them they will flow smoothly. But, these are by the stadium and the arena. The people that attend these events are not from Lincoln (for the most part) so will not be driving on these round abouts daily. Thus, they will approach them and stop and look at each entry point. Result, traffic back up and a nightmare.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Casady; Are your folks planning on doing anything special for these roundabouts (at least for the first couple games)?

I'd also be curious as to your "before/after" opinion on how well they work after a few games.

Anonymous said...

The scariest place in Lincoln that I drive is the roundabout at the east entrance to Lincoln Southwest High during peak before/after school traffic, largely because people (particularly students it seems) do not know, or choose to ignore, the right-of-way rules for roundabouts. I am having a hard time imagining these arena roundabouts being any better during peak event traffic.

11:09: The recent changes to the 14th and Old Cheney intersection seems to have resolved the backups that occured both there and at 14th and Warlick, although we will have to see if that improvement holds after LPS starts back next week.

Anonymous said...

I'm pushing 70,and just too old for this kind of stuff! I avoid them like the plague. haven't even been on the big X yet. In fact, a couple of years ago I looking for an address on 22nd and vine, and ended up touring just about every parking lot the U has! At least I hav enough sense to stay away.

Anonymous said...

Prior planning prevents poor performance. I am getting ready for the home games already. I am constructing a pre-drwan accident diagram of these roundabouts. I am in favor of them, mind you. However, I will be prepared.

Anonymous said...

Once the roundabout north of Pleasant Dale opens, the rural folks will get a taste of this fun! (sarcasm) I am curious to see the type of traffic that normally goes down Hwy6, going thru the roundabout. Semis, tractors, an occasional 4-wheeler, etc.

Anonymous said...

These roundabouts will be far less challenging than the proposed roundabout at 14th & Superior. Most of the traffic on these will be feeding from one direction during heaviest traffic volumes. At 14th and Superior there is a heavy flow from all directions. Add in the propsed pedestrian crossing lights just down from the intersections and it is going to be a mess.

Anonymous said...

Director,
Maybe you could work with the UNL athletic department and send all of the ticket holders for football and basketball games an E-Mail with a link to a video explaining traffic circle etiquette and maps of the area? I would think the cost/benefit ratio would be worth it.

Gun Nut

Anonymous said...

are there really that many vehicles going the wrong way down the I-180 bridge? or did they include them to simulate drunk drivers?

JIM J said...

This road is a feeder of some really fast traffic. No mention of the "Roundabout Ahead" sign with flashing lights. Also the rear wheels of the trailer in the video was very funny, off tracking and doing a good number on the grass.

Tom Casady said...

10:32-

That's not I-180, it's 10th Street.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking you're giving driver's too much credit. People can't even figure out the roundabouts near South Pointe or the one on S 40th St. I've gotten stuck at those things more often than not because people sit and wait....and wait....and wait.... But hopefully they prove this skeptic wrong.

Anonymous said...

Twice through it and twice almost hit head on by confused drivers!