RICKTER SCALE: Doing cartwheels over the roundabout

It took a while to take a shine to the new roundabout,

By Rick Stiebel

It took a while to take a shine to the new roundabout, but that’s probably another example of a failure to embrace change with the same enthusiasm I had when I was younger.

When we first moved to Sooke in the dawn’s early glow of the new millennium in 2000, one of the things I liked most was being able to say I live in a town with only one traffic light.

But, despite the clouds of dust, the impossible to time delays, the hours spent counting flag people and the fear that I may not live long enough to see the completion of a project I thought would take a couple of weeks, I have become a big fan.

Anyone who remembers what it was like rubbernecking while trying to turn against the traffic exiting either of the malls that constitute our downtown core on a weekend appreciates the difference the roundabout makes.

That’s balanced by how fortunate we are that we didn’t end up with a scaled down version of the McTavish Interchange. Which, six years after completion, still has seasoned cabbies hurling curses like it was the second coming of Christy Clark. Or any politician of personal choice, for that matter.

The first roundabout was actually built in 1904 in New York City and was eventually removed after the residents of the day deemed it an unqualified failure. Nevertheless, the principle hasn’t changed much since then, and neither have the three golden rules of navigating roundabouts in a safe and fist-fight-free fashion.

Number one is to reduce speed and choose a lane on your initial approach, despite the fact it seems there’s a growing number of circle jerks who somehow passed their driver’s test that think it’s a license to speed up suddenly in the hopes of entering the roundabout before the person that’s travelling two car lengths closer in the opposite direction.

Secondly, you should enter to right and continue in a counter-clockwise direction,  watching for pedestrians, cyclists and the odd American tourist who may have never encountered this type of traffic-calming phenomenon before. Unless, of course, they’re really old and from New York.

Lastly, use your right turn signal when exiting, although this may be extremely difficult for at least half of the pickup trucks in Sooke that appear to have removed that pesky directional app that used to stick out next to the steering wheel. A little courtesy and common sense goes a long way when you’re going in circles.

•••

RIck Stiebel is a Sooke resident and semi-retired journalist.

 

 

Just Posted

The strange case of Jesokah Adkens

All was not what it seemed in Sooke girl’s disappearance 18 years ago

Police stay quiet on downtown fire investigation

The fire at Victoria’s Plaza Hotel was deemed suspicious on May 14

Police arrest jewelry thieves in same building they allegedly stole from

More than $6,000 worth of jewelry was recovered

Coastline serves up a feast of fiddlers in Oak Bay

Local Juno Award winner musical director for ensemble

High of 21 C for Wednesday

Plus your weekend forecast

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Most British Columbians agree the ‘big one’ is coming, but only 50% are prepared

Only 46 per cent of British Columbians have prepared an emergency kit with supplies they might need

B.C. man to pay Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party $20k over lawsuit

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

RCMP searching for missing Vancouver Island teenager

16-year-old Lasheena Seward was reported missing from a group home in Port Alberni

Sitting and sleeping on downtown sidewalks could net $100 fine in Penticton

The measure, which still requires final approval, would be enforced between May and Sept. 30

B.C. man killed in logging accident ‘would have done anything for anyone’

Wife remembers 43-year old Petr Koncek, father of two children

Ottawa spending $24.5M to research on health benefits, risks of pot use

$390,000 will fund two cannabis public awareness

Crackdown on money laundering does not include federal public inquiry: minister

An independent report commissioned concluded $7.4 billion was laundered in B.C. last year

Most Read