EDITOR’S NOTE: Our March 14 column elicited more comments on the safety of roundabouts and on the fleurs-de-lis removed from the old U.S. 190 bridge.
Round and round
Let’s tackle the roundabouts ... again. One reader sends this warning: “Don’t do it! We built several in our community and the accident rate went through the roof.”
But information that city-parish chief traffic engineer Ingolf A. Partenheimer and DOTD spokesman Rodney Mallet shared with us indicate the configurations are safe.
“Roundabouts reduce the types of crashes where people are seriously hurt or killed by 78-82 percent compared to conventional stop-controlled and signalized intersections,” Partenheimer says of the highway safety manual from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
For further reading, he suggests this Federal Highway Administration site.
Mallet sent us this from the state Department of Transportation and Development site, indicating roundabouts are safe, cost-effective and good for the environment because they:
— reduce fatalities by up to 90 percent, injury crashes up to 76 percent, and pedestrian crashes up to 30-40 percent.
— reduce road electricity and maintenance costs an average of $5,000 per year, and provide a 25-year service life when compared to the 10-year service life of signal equipment.
— decrease fuel consumption and carbon emissions by reducing delays and the number of stops, thus idling time.
The site also notes modern roundabouts are smaller than older-style rotaries and traffic circles:
“The compactness of a modern roundabout helps keep speeds low and makes it easier for drivers to stay oriented and judge the speed of the vehicles before entering the roundabout.
“Modern roundabouts require entering traffic to yield, not merge, at all entries. Whereas traffic circles and rotaries may require circulating traffic to yield to entering traffic.”
We’ve now heard from three more readers who have in their possession metal fleurs-de-lis, possibly from the bridge.
Janice Parrino sent us a photo of an upside-down fleur-de-lis that she bought at a garage sale several years ago. “I was told it came from the old bridge; however, I was never able to prove it. Could this be from the old bridge?”
Sure looks like the next photo sent to us by “littlered”
He got his fleur-de-lis, which he says dates from the 1991 major rehabilitation project, from DOTD coworker “Kit” Carson.
Two other fleurs-de-lis from the Huey P. Long Bridge, now known as the U.S. 190 bridge, are on display at the Pride-Chaneyville Branch Library in conjunction with its One Book One Community book “Kingfish: The Reign of Huey P. Long,” says library tech Linden M. Langberg.
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