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Letter to the editor
Forsyth roundabout is poorly designed
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Forsyth County News

While I am a proponent of roundabouts, I take issue with comments in the Dec. 4 Forsyth County News. Mr. Allen of the Forsyth County government may tout this project as an engineering success, however those who traverse this intersection on a regular basis know the design is flawed. Some thoughts and questions:

• There is a roundabout two miles north in Dawson County that is well designed. In contrast, the Forsyth roundabout has such a reduced circumference and sight lines that traffic approaching must slow or stop to ensure another vehicle is not proceeding into them. Why would our traffic engineers not study and emulate the success of the Dawson County design? Why are the sight lines so restricted?

• Mr. Allen states this roundabout promotes a free flow design that increases efficiency and reduces backups. Regretfully, when two or more vehicles approach this roundabout all stop as it is difficult to determine who has the right of way. The four entry points are simply too close together.

• The roundabout posted speed limit is 20 MPH. I would challenge Mr. Allen to enter the intersection at this speed. Because of its very tight radius the average driver will find 5-10 MPH a comfortable speed.

A nicely surfaced island and perimeter curbing are being covered by black tire marks as the circumference is insufficient. I have observed school buses fail to transit the roundabout without running on the island or brushing the curbs. Mr. Allen states that this surface was designed to be driven on. If so, why not just use less expensive asphalt? Any esthetic value is being quickly negated by skid marks.

• I have traveled this intersection for many years and can’t recall a rush hour delay in excess of 15-30 seconds. Mr. Allen states that rush hour traffic has improved. What is the basis of his statement?

I’m guessing that this roundabout is flawed because sufficient right of way was not available. Our commissioners should investigate the accountability of this $243,000 expense.


Bruce Treadway