To the Editor:
Having been totally skeptical of the Roundabout in Oak Bluffs, at what used to be a successful four-way stop intersection at what used to be the “blinka,” I am now convinced that we have entered into what might be a brand-new challenge. I am also convinced that very very few drivers have a remotest notion of how to negotiate this particular abomination of a traffic pattern.
We have created a brand-new competitive situation. On many occasions, I have ventured into this new and apparently incomprehensible traffic pattern, following what I understand to be the international rules of the roundabout, only to be confronted with what I perceive to be the classic “damned be the rules, I am in charge” concept. On many more occasions than should be normal, I have entered, gingerly, into the circle, only to be cut off by as many as seven oncoming cars, the drivers of which have not even paused to see if anyone is already in the circle.
I originally thought these were drivers coming on from Edgartown, but now the ones who cut one off are oncoming from the airport, again, up to seven cars in a row. Previously, I had worried that drivers from the crossroads would be stuck waiting for the through traffic (remember the “blinkas”?) only to learn that none of them comprehend the concept of cars within the circle having the right of way and that those of us who are in the circle are taking our lives in our hands.
I am going back to my defensive action during the building of the Roundabout. From now on, I go to Oak Bluffs via Vineyard Haven. Right up to the time they start rebuilding the drawbridge. Maybe by then the 80 percent of drivers who have not a clue as to how to negotiate the Roundabout might have learned the rules.
Then there are the oncoming summer people, about which I am a bit more hopeful. Maybe they know the rules. Right.