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 www.caltrans.ca.gov 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?
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.”