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Bob Nester: Recognizing standout roundabouts

From the COLLECTION: 14 letters to editor published this weekend series

With the abundance of roundabouts popping up around Wisconsin, I feel it is only right be begin a "Roundabout Recognition" award for those traffic circles which stand out in design and traffic flow improvement.

Two, actually four, come to mind:

There are two along highway 12 as you attempt to head south from the Dells to the Ho-Chunk Casino. Being built adjacent to one another, rumor has it that some Sheboygan gamblers actually ended up at Noah's Ark one Friday night.

Two more adjacent roundabouts can be found along highway 21 at Oshkosh and highway 41. I think these were built for Packer fans who decided to go back and have one for the road.

The newest one, in Onalaska, is a sight to behold. Rumor has it the traffic engineer celebrated two birthdays, an anniversary and The Fourth of July all during its construction.

I tried it out this week. Entering the circle, I counted 17 traffic instruction signs I was supposed to read and obey, all in the six seconds it took me to drive by while making a left turn so as not to create a new drive-thru at the bowling alley. Oh, and there were two more signs painted on the pavement. I missed those.

The upper-income swells who populate Green Coulee no longer have to stop for the nuisance Stop sign on Main Street. They can blend right in, right or left or both. We also find truckloads of the finest topsoil money can buy dumped right in the middle of the street with strange-looking new plants sticking up in the middle. That must be where the plows will deposit new-fallen snow after they push it around the circle a few times.

This roundabout deserves a special award.

Don't get me wrong; I'm all for moving traffic along. Whoever thought of 4-way stops should be sent abroad. 4-ways stop all traffic, not move it along.

So, other roundabout nominations are welcome. Where should we send the trophy?

Bob Nester



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