The Free Press, Mankato, MN

August 20, 2013

Roundabout rage: new road has heads spinning

By Robb Murray
rmurray@mankatofreepress.com

---- — Take your roundabouts and shove 'em!

That's the consensus of a majority of respondents to our latest online poll. Our question was: Three roundabouts are being built on Madison Avenue just outside of Mankato this year. What is your opinion about roundabouts?

With 53 percent (104 votes), this response was the clear winner: "Hate 'em. If I see one more roundabout, it'll be too many."

With 20 percent (40 votes) this answer was a distant second: "Meh. I'm not a fan but I tolerate them."

And with 19 percent (38 votes) this answer came in third: "Like 'em. They seem to work just fine."

Comments at our Facebook page included:

• Jeff Hanson: "I grew up in Lake Crystal. Now live in Oregon. Visited New England many times where they have many roundabouts. Now starting to get them in Oregon. Greatest thing since peanut butter. Of course, there is a learning curve of how to properly use them, but once people get used to them, traffic flows so smoothly. Should have many more of them."

• Patty Lee: "Hate them. They are not wide enough, not truly like the ones in Europe. Sure am happy I do not have to drive a semi through them."

• Jodi Lange: "Perfect timing for this poll. Wondering since the roundabout is pretty much brand new, why they already were doing repairs this morning on it. What a waste, do it right the first time!"

• Katie Jeff Endresen: "They are terrible. Have you seen the semi's try to get through these tiny little things?"

• Heather Laird: "I haven't heard one person say that this was a good idea. Obviously the city of Mankato doesn't care what we think."

• Brent Rossow: "Read the comments here. Who is this 'we' you're talking about?"

• John Kor: "I love them. Hate stop signs and signal lights are a never ending electrical bill. And everyone says it's just a road to Eagle Lake. Wrong, that will be full of businesses within the years."

• Neil Fischer: "This has cost the taxpayers hugely, companies like Center point energy, Hickory Tech, Charter, Xcel and Verizon to spend 10's of thousands to move their utilities and for what exactly? I understand there is a safety factor but where these are going, how many accidents have been at the current intersections? Deaths? To me it is a waste of money."

• Colleen Overson: "Traffic flows better and they reduce accident rates by an amazing amount. It's not rocket science to use them!"

• Kevin Johnson: "Great safety feature. You'll adapt."

• Eric Davis: "Easy for most to use, it's too bad the stupid ones can't figure out look left and yield."

The Free Press online poll is not scientific. Visit mankatofreepress.com to weigh in on our latest question: "The federally set minimum wage of $7.25 is under fire by lawmakers who want to raise it to, in some cases, $15 per hour. Should the minimum wage be raised?"