Roundly wrong

March 20, 2009 

Regarding your March 15 article "Hopes for Hillsborough": The roundabout has evolved over more than a century as an efficient mechanism for merging and moving vehicles through intersections. It has been thoroughly tested in Britain and other European countries and is effective at eliminating traffic lights and gridlock.

It is not, however, a pedestrian-friendly solution for students entering or leaving the gateway to N.C. State university, nor can it accommodate the cyclists, skateboarders and rollerbladers often seen in the vicinity. Drivers entering a roundabout are concerned only with other cars on their left and can easily overlook pedestrians attempting to cross near the circle.

This dangerous and potentially lethal concept for a problematic intersection on Hillsborough Street needs to be re-examined by the City of Raleigh. Trendy as roundabouts may be in current planning circles, a far simpler and cost-effective solution was proposed more than 25 years ago: Extend Pullen Road straight through the intersection and connect directly to Oberlin Road.

Peter Batchelor

Professor Emeritus of Architecture and Urban Design, NCSU


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