Fred Barber: Too late for roundabouts

May 18, 2019

Editor: Roundabouts and Traffic Circles have bypassed Lake Havasu City-it’s too late now. They take up too much room.

The city would have to ‘take’ land from people (eminent domain—5th Amendment applies). And I am sure the city fathers do not want to do that—they would never be elected again.

Traffic circles take up a lot of space. Robert McCulloch had driven in England, but back in 1963 he and his engineers did not think of roundabouts for our city.

They are scary. I worked in England, South Africa, and Australia. I think you must be born there. I never had an accident, but I came close once.

Where? Why, in Long Beach, California, years ago. That giant traffic circle is horrible—they go 50 mph. I have only been forced to use it twice — once in the late 1950s and once again in 1996.

There is also a Traffic Circle in the city of Orange, California, it is smaller but just as scary. I have used it only once.

In 1998 I worked in Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia. I was on my first day of work out at the Antenna site and got confused at the roundabout —the Oz folks knew we Yanks were at the site.

They saw me and all stopped until I made it through the circle and was on my way straight ahead again — no worries mate.

Part of my problem was the steering wheel was on the other side. I have driven “wrong-wheel” cars in several countries. I never got used to the steering wheel nor the roundabouts.

Las Vegas also has a couple of traffic circles out west by a big hospital. They were built when desert land was cheap and not many buildings existed. Those two circles are scary!

Thank the good Lord roundabouts and traffic circles are too late for our beloved Lake Havasu City — land is too hard to come by — full of houses and stores and cacti.

Fred Barber

Lake Havasu City

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