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Letters to the Editor for October 13, 2017

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Regarding roundabouts

To the Editor:

Kudos to Ron Ringen (Letter July 25, 2017 and Sept. 19, 2017) for proposing a roundabout at the Pedro-Y, the intersection between Sonora and Columbia on Highway 49 and Parrots Ferry Road.

According to Caltrans, roundabouts, when compared to traffic signals, have a 35 percent reduction in all accidents, 76 percent reduction in injury accidents, a 90 percent reduction in fatal accidents, reduce delay, increase capacity, eliminate broadside and head-on accidents, and require less maintenance. This seems a reasonable alternative to the stop light we have now.

When I brought up the topic at a Columbia-area planning meeting last year, I was told that this is a state highway, Caltrans does not like them, there is not enough room, and we cannot slow the traffic for a roundabout. Not so. An Internet search at reveals that Caltrans does have approximately 50 roundabouts on state highways. There is plenty of room if the county can acquire some adjacent right-of-way, and currently traffic is brought to a complete stop at the stoplight.

With the pass-through lane going from Sonora to Columbia, we already have 1/3 of a roundabout, and it works great. Traffic flows smoothly through the intersection without ever coming to a stop.

Roundabouts are all over Europe and on our east coast. Why not have one here?

Thad Waterbury


Another Guthrieism

To the Editor:

Regarding the letter from Mr. Gary Linehan, I would like to pass along another apropos Woody Guthrieism: “I don’t care none, much for dictators, myself; I think the whole world should be run by ee-lectricity.”

Chuck Grennell