“Ava is dangereuse”

<metablahg>backroomIf this photoooo (of the GG w/ Turnstile and LB) is not acceptable, I’ll take it down. It provides a glimpse of the Cosmic Debris that resides in the Back Room. This is the room (and its Woods View, which you can’t see) that said to me, “KW! This is your house!” when we toured it 30 years ago. The Back Room is currently arranged in kind of a funky way, a by-product of our kitchen remodel. I’m trying to get along with it. There is a wee bit too much Cosmic Debris for my current taste. Or maybe it’s too much furniture. I don’t have anywhere near as much furniture as my eccentric hoarder aunt Roberta had in her apartment (in maybe a quarter of the space I have in my small house), may she rest in peace. But still.</metablahg>

Did you know that I navigate the “most dangerous” intersection in the Grand Old Great Lake State at least twice a day? A work-day, that is. I didn’t actually know that I was doing that. If you don’t feel like clicking the link, it is a roundabout (or traffic circle or whatever you want to call it). I anticipated this roundabout with much trepidation but I have to say (KNOCK ON WOOD BIGTIME!) that it has been pretty much okay. The scariest moment I have ever had is when I was partially into the roundabout and traffic ahead of me unexpectedly backed up. I think I was “stuck” in the roundabout for maybe 30 seconds but it felt like 10 minutes.

As the article states, the accidents that do happen in the roundabout are usually minor fender bender type things. I have actually never seen an accident in there although last week, there were a couple of vee-hickles up on the central “island” and I couldn’t help wondering why they were there. They were not highly damaged, that I could tell. But I only glanced because I was paying attention to traffic. And I think that is the key. Successful roundabout navigation involves yielding when you approach the roundabout and going s-l-o-w-l-y as you are moving through it. 15 mph is the posted speed limit. Another thing that is key is that you CANNOT navigate a roundabout while texting or doing anything with your phone. You MUST have your eyes on the road IN ALL DIRECTIONS AT ALL TIMES! But y’all knew that so I won’t rant and rave about it.

With the traditional old-school intersection — stoplights and left turn lanes up the wazoo — I often had to wait through three or four lights heading north on S. State at the end of the day and too often I had to sit in stop-and-go traffic for the mile or so between my work and that intersection. (I know I am not dealing with Big City Traffic (hello, Seattle commuters) here!) Nowadays, I only occasionally have to do the stop-and-go thing.

All that said, I wonder how some of the elderly members of our city are handling this. The Commander drove until she had a minor stroke at age 91. There were some scary moments the last couple years of that but it was a small town and MOST of her incidents involved 2-mph scrapes in parking lots or her own garage. “You have to be cagey to back the car out of the garage”. Yes mom, love you mom. I had known for a few years that she would not have been able to manage even the medium-sized-city traffic that we have on The Planet Ann Arbor and I know she would’ve been totally flummoxed by the roundabout I navigate every day.

KNOCK ON WOOD BIG TIME! After writing this, I am gonna be extra careful at that roundabout tomorrow (and forever), knowing that karma could easily swoop in and bite me on my almost-perfect driving record.

2 Responses to ““Ava is dangereuse””

  1. jane Says:

    IMHO, the problem with that roundabout and others around here is that they are too small. I also used to go thru that intersection on my way to work, and hated sitting thru the light. That said, they needed to buy some extra land around it to make the diameter a bit bigger.

  2. Margaret Says:

    I hate roundabouts, but understand their advantages and positives. I’m happy to have a stress free 7 minute commute.