Traffic 'round' is a very bad idea

This appeared in the Times Daily letters to the editor.   The writer makes a good point about the businesses there suffering.   Some really good businesses in the area ran by really good folks, and I hope that an equitable solution can be found to appease their concerns while the roundabout is being built.

But I have to take issue with the writer saying you have to be an expert driver and implying they are difficult to learn.   I have lived in this area my whole life and in traveling I have ran into many roundabouts and never had an issue learning them or proceeding through them.  In fact, I have found them to be of great ease and definitely made the area's traffic less congested.

On the contrary, the way the traffic is now is a nightmare and it seems most people are perplexed when approaching the area and that leads to some tense and dangerous situations.


A traffic round is a very bad idea at the intersection of Huntsville Road and Royal Avenue, and I shall endeavor to clue you in. First of all, my Aunt Suzy told me that in order to put one in, it will take about a three block area with nothing around it that will impede it being done.

The businesses close to the construction will not be accessible to patrons; drivers will not be allowed to enter that area while the site is under consideration; numerous traffic studies will take considerable time all day and night. Get the picture?


If at all even interested, Google it on your computer. I did, and you will simply be awed at just what it takes to do this. To learn the ins and outs will take an expert driver over a period of several months to adjust from this junction being the way it has been.

So, to Florence City Councilman David Bradley and City Engineer Bill Batson, if neither of you have experience driving in one of these “rounds,” either take a trip to Europe to study theirs, or to maybe New York.


Think real hard as to what you are about to do. Hold several driving courses to get the gist of how they are supposed to work, and be on site when it is open and witness the first mess-up.

Joe Fairer

Muscle Shoals

"A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad."  - Albert Camus

Original Post

I still remember the roundabout at L'Etoile in Paris.  The car in front of me was an old Ugly Duckling Citroen.  The driver wore a beret (few French outside the farmers still do) and a crucifix hung from his rear view mirror.  He stopped for the longest time.  Then, made the sign of the cross, and drove into the roundabout. 

I'm originally from Chattanooga TN and the traffic, in an out of the Bachman Tubes Tunnel which is the Tunnel through Missionary Ridge just to the east of the Interstate, was always a problem with no apparent solution.  At some point in time, since I left that area, the city installed a round a bout solution which I have to say works amazingly well.  I've also experienced Round a bouts when I lived in Atlanta and when visiting the Washington DC area.   I, personally, don't have any problem with them and actually find they work quite well in highly congested areas but I will admit that it's not for everyone.  

There is most definitely an intimidation factor if not fear factor for anyone that is totally foreign to them and there is a learning curve involved.  Some people just can't seem to get the hang of them either.  While I am a fan of round a bouts for certain traffic situations  and the situation that 7-points presents is a logical candidate for such a solution I believe that the 7-points area is not a good candidate for it given the existing businesses and space available as it would take a total reworking of the area and would  adversely affect several businesses that would not benefit from the drastic change but that's just my own opinion.


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