Apples and intersections


To the Editor:

I have been following the story about the proposed roundabout, and I have been reading the opinions of people both for and against it.

There are points to be made on both sides of the issue, and I am happy to see a thoughtful discussion about this project that we will have to live with for years to come.

My purpose here is not to give my opinion about which option we should choose, but to talk about the nature of the debate.

I read Paul Magid’s Letter to the Editor of May 12 and would like to comment on it.

In his letter, Paul mentions the “Chevy Chase circle” in Washington D.C as an example of why we should not put a roundabout at the intersection in question.

I was curious. Sounds like a mess, I thought , and then I wondered if it was different than ours (he mentioned “two smaller side streets”).

So, interestingly enough, if you go to Google Earth and type in “Chevy Chase circle”, Google Earth will actually bring you to a position directly above it at a simulated elevation of 3,638 feet, and you can look at it for yourself.

But if not, here is my description of it:

First, there are three lanes of traffic in the circle. Connecticut Avenue (which Mr. Magid mentions ) has three lanes of traffic going each direction — that’s three lanes in, three lanes out, each direction. Western Avenue (which Mr. Magid mentions ) has two lanes in, one lane out, each direction. He also mentions two smaller side streets. It has, in fact, three other streets coming in, but I can see how he could be confused.

So, to summarize it, this one intersection has seven points of entry and exit and 24 lanes of traffic either coming in or going out. Ours would have 4 points of entry or exit and 8 lanes coming in or going out. Mr. Magid’s is also in a heavily populated residential area, year-round.

The picture on Google Earth just happens to show traffic flowing smoothly, by the way. So, with all due respect to Mr Magid’s opinion, (and my sympathies to him for living within a mile of this mess for 28 years), to use this intersection as an example of what we will be facing is disingenuous and has no place in this discussion.

Don Keller

Vineyard Haven