EDITORIAL: Impending roundabout isn’t worth stress

Editorial Cartoon by Darren Vogt

By: Editorial staff

THE ISSUE: From May through August 2014, Bowling Green will be working on construction of a roundabout at University Boulevard and U.S. 31-W By-Pass in an attempt to have traffic flow more smoothly and fix problems turning onto and exiting Chestnut Street, with some utility work currently under progress.

 OUR STANCE: While we find the city’s efforts admirable and wish them success with this endeavor, we’re still a bit skeptical that this will actually be any safer.

 We know of another roundabout built in one of our hometowns, Danville, Ky, at the intersection of Kentucky 33 and Kentucky 2168. This roundabout is in a rural, usually uncrowded region, and has already had myriad accidents, according to the Advocate Messenger newspaper. 

 At least two accidents in Danville’s roundabout have sent two to the hospital, and there has even been an instance of a semi-truck becoming stuck within the roundabout as well, the paper reported.

 With these mishaps occurring in a town far smaller and a road far less populated, we’re definitely skeptical about the roundabout closer to us, especially since this will be the first roundabout in the city, according to the Bowling Green Daily News. 

 Because this is the city’s first roundabout, we wonder how many will be familiar with how to navigate one. There are no official classes to teach citizens on how to properly maneuver these, and unless Bowling Green citizens spend a good amount of time in cities with roundabouts, including cities in Europe, they may be clueless as to the rules of the road. 

 Another huge concern regarding the roundabout is the population, both of the city and of the intersections. If so many accidents occurred in such a rural area of such a small town, we wonder if the amount of accidents in a very populated part of a larger town will be twice, even thrice the amount, which, in recent years, currently averages about 3,000 annually, according to the Bowling Green official website. 

 Lastly, the construction of this roundabout will obviously take time, and will cause rerouting of those who would normally travel these busy streets. With school out the streets may not be as packed, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be deserted either.

 With so many people using these roads to go to and from work, or to appointments or to even pick up their kids, road closings will ensure that they begin to clog roads that would otherwise be free and not heavily trafficked. 

 We understand that a roundabout may be a good idea to introduce to a city that desperately needs less traffic jams and fewer accidents. However, perhaps it is not the greatest idea to make Bowling Green’s first roundabout in such a heavily-driven area that is so prone to accidents.

 In this case, change might make the situation even worse. 

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 9-member editorial board.