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    Letters to the Editors

    Roundabout rouses many views

    © St. Petersburg Times,
    published August 2, 2001

    I've read so many letters about the Clearwater Beach roundabout that I just had to join in.

    I think most people have missed the point regarding the fountain obstructing the view of traffic on the other side of the roundabout.

    I've used the roundabout, without incident, dozens of times since its completion and want to make this point: You don't need to see the traffic on the other side of the fountain, just the traffic approaching your entrance. Maybe the reason people are getting into accidents is that they are not looking at the cars approaching them.

    The decision to enter the roundabout is based on whether the approaching cars have exited the roundabout, leaving a space to enter, not what the cars are doing on the other side of the fountain!

    I would hate to spend so much of our taxpayer money to remove the fountain unnecessarily.
    -- Kent Golden, Clearwater

    The British point of view

    I was telling my friend about all the problems the people are having with the infamous Clearwater Beach roundabout. As she grew up in England and therefore with roundabouts, she was curious to know what was causing all the trouble.

    We weren't there 20 seconds before she saw the problem. Her first words were, "No one is indicating (using their turn signals)." You have to signal your intentions to keep the traffic flowing as well as let others know what you intend to do.

    Another of her observations is that when you are in the left lane and want to exit, you have to move to the right lane safely or go around again until you can. Sometimes on the English roundabouts you go around several times.

    We don't need more engineers, wider lanes or changes to exits, or to remove the fountain. We need to be educated on how to drive on a roundabout.
    -- Virginia Sheare, Clearwater and Ontario

    Needs reconfiguration

    I have been following all the commentary on the roundabout. I drive the roundabout daily and can clearly see cars approaching.

    The problem is, I have no idea whether those cars will turn off or continue around the circle until the last minute. My entrance is just a few feet from where the approaching car will either exit or continue around. When traffic is heavy and you don't want to wait all day, you must make your best guess and gun it.

    That is why you see cars in the fountain or taking out benches adjacent to the fountain. There are too many entrances and exits and they are too close to each other. The fountain needs to go, since its spray creates a hazard, not to mention a bath if you have the top down.

    And the entrances and exits need to be reduced and spaced properly. This may require a major reconfiguration and rerouting of traffic, but better to do it right once than waste money (again) on a fix that doesn't work.

    If you want to keep developing the beach, you need a much more effective way to get people to it. Neither the current configuration nor the proposed one will support today's traffic needs, much less the development currently proposed.
    -- Ed Marchiselli Jr., Clearwater

    It's an improvement

    Re: Visibility is crucial to roundabout, so fountain should go, letter, July 25.

    There is no fountain spray making windshield wipers necessary when going around the roundabout. This is because the fountain has been working improperly or not at all for several months.

    As residents of Clearwater Beach, we know that the roundabout has improved the flow of traffic a great deal. Hopefully, with expected changes, it will improve even more. However, the "beauty" of the fountain and gateway to the beach is now a constant eyesore.
    -- Harriet and Clyde Hall, Clearwater

    It's easy and nice-looking

    Re: The beautiful roundabout -- and it is just that, a beautiful entrance to Clearwater Beach.

    It can be enjoyed by just reading and following the simple signs. Quit griping about change. It is so much easier than the old intersection. Read the signs and obey them. It helps us enjoy even more beauty at our beach.
    -- Virginia Young, Clearwater

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