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Here’s Why I Hate Driving In Lafayette, Louisiana

(Okay, hate IS a strong word:  let’s go with “don’t always desire” driving in Lafayette.)

At the top of the list:  Roundabouts.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE roundabouts.   I am a proponent of roundabouts. The reason roundabouts are installed is because they can handle more traffic in less time than a four-way-stop intersection or a traffic-signaled intersection.  Roundabouts also increase safety:

Roundabouts have been shown to reduce fatal accidents by as much as 90% and injury accidents as much as 75%, while pedestrian crashes reduced by 30-40%.

So, what’s my beef with roundabouts?  Some people don’t know how to use them (yet, I hope).  Some people stop when they get to one.  With no traffic to be seen, they just stop.  Completely.  (I think that they put their brain in ‘park’, too.)  They just stop.  With NOTHING in the roundabout.
The proper way to use a roundabout (as outlined in this document) is to yield at the entrance to the roundabout IF THERE IS A VEHICLE IN THE ROUNDABOUT TO YOUR LEFT.  Not across from you, not to your right, but approaching from your left, IN THE ROUNDABOUT.  If a vehicle approaching from the street to your left has not yet entered the roundabout, you have PLENTY OF TIME to enter the roundabout.  Once your are IN the roundabout, YOU NEVER STOP (unless avoiding a collision, of course).  You continue, at a safe speed, and then you signal your exit from the roundabout, and go on your merry way.  Once you are in the roundabout, you have the right-of-way.  Please DO NOT step on your brakes as you are in the roundabout.  PLEASE (can you tell that I am begging??)

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has a short video explaining how to properly use a roundabout that might help those people who are roundabout-illiterate, or for those who suffer from roundaboutaphobia (I just made that word up).

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Another reason I “don’t always desire” driving in Lafayette?  It happened this morning, on Kaliste Saloom, approaching Pinhook.  Lookey-see here:

Wrong Lane
The double-yellow lines are not just for "pretty"!

This guy was going around the traffic on Kaliste Saloom to get into the left-hand turn lane (which was already full of traffic waiting for a green light).  Understand these two pictures:  THE DRIVERS ARE HEADED INTO ONCOMING TRAFFIC!

Truck In Oncoming Traffic
This guy just drove in the wrong lane. Dumb? You decide.

These pictures were taken moments apart this morning.  Two instances withing 15 seconds of each other – – – makes me wonder how often this kind of thing happens around all of Lafayette every day!


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