Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Roundabouts Again

Groupies will know that the staff and management here at Underbelly central are big fans of highway roundabouts.  They do take a bit of getting used to, but after a few hours days weeks  (whatever) of being chased around Southern England.  I came away a true believer, an acolyte, even a proselyte. We now even have a few roundabouts here in Palookaville--mostly in somewhat out of the way places, which suggests that the proponents were settling for what they could get--but the fact may have the unintended virtue of letting newbies practice their rounding skills in a low-stress environment. There is a new one near the center of town which seems to be trouble waiting to happen: there's a one-way street in just where you would most want to go out. But I grant that the deeper issue here may be a whole new traffic pattern, as if calculated to leave the whole town screeching and hollering on their way into the season of love and joy. We'll get used to it, and emerge better for the ordeal.

The Wichita Bureau, reporting from exile in nearby Lawrence, offers a more complicated account:
The city government ... is proposing to put in a ‘roundabout’ in a major street near here. Although they have been building them here for years, the locals (esp. the elderly) don’t adapt easily and entirely too many take the shortcut straight across. The intersection in question is in need of a light due to traffic levels but supposedly the roundabout would save money. At that point the local arts commission which has no money pipes up with a proposal to put a piece of art in the center.

I’m going to propose that they weld two Mercury Grand Marquis (or Lincoln Towncars) into a sculpture and put it in the roundabout. Here in the midwest, the aspiring elderly all drive Grand Marquis (or to show they made it) - and since they quit making the brand, they are getting a bit battered. They are a huge car – a throw back to the days of cheap gas – and welding two into a sculpture would be appropriate and also block the short cut.

1 comment:

marcel said...

I have this image of your elderly drivers (Mr. Magoo?) coming straight into the roundabout, hitting the brakes and leaning on the horn until the "sculpture" stops blocking traffic. If there are more than 2 roads coming into or leaving the roundabout, this means that Mr. Magoo is himself blocking traffic as his car points at the sculpture. The resulting cacophony would be a joyful noise unto the Lord!