Version 2.0 of the North Main Street mini-roundabouts soon are in use.

Residents, motorists and soothsayers, who considered the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet project to be expensive, unnecessary and confusing, likely have felt some degree of pleasure seeing the state come back and re-engineer the work. The first roundabouts provided to be too mini as many vehicles could not navigate the loop without driving across the raised center area or grazing curbs.

It was good to see the state respond so quickly with a fix. It’s just unfortunate because that means more taxpayer money was poured into the project.

Transportation officials are charged with keeping traffic moving in a safe and efficient manner. We’ve seen a roundabout erase a daily commuter backup in Rineyville and most motorists would love to avoid the stop-and-go travel caused by frequent stop signs on heavily travelled residential streets.

Hopefully, the lessons learned here can be applied consistently in the future. The state has more intersections of interest where roundabouts could be introduced in Elizabethtown.

But these changes seem much like the J-turn cuts created along U.S. 31W and other high-traffic areas around the county. They may be proven concepts and welcomed ideas for engineers, but motorists see them differently.

The state experts are likely to learn that unless increased education and promotion changes the public perception, eventually the complaints will find themselves to legislative corridors. When the voice of the public grows loud enough, engineers will have to contend with the second guessing of elected officials.

To protect these safety enhancements, cabinet officials must change the narrative soon and get any future roundabouts built correctly the first time.

This editorial reflects a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.

This editorial reflects a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.

(2) comments

JohnTabb

I just noticed my comment was credited to my husband, John. I, Loeta Tabb, made the comment, but I know he agrees with me.

JohnTabb

Roundabouts aren't necessarily bad if they are constructed where there is a large enough space for them to actually allow more than one vehicle at a time to enter, travel and exit the roundabout. Whatever else the mini roundabouts are, they are just a messed up 4 way stop. My husband and I encountered R cuts many years ago in Michigan and were horrified and mystified that R cuts replaced left turn traffic light signals. I will avoid R cuts.

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