Sweet Tweets

Friday, August 19, 2011

Round Abound

One of the most confusing and anxiety-inducing things that I've encountered while driving is trying to navigate a traffic circle. On Nantucket Island (where there is not a single traffic light) traffic circles, or roundabouts, are a very popular traffic control tool.

Having successfully driven through one of the world's most complicated traffic circles in D.C.'s DuPont Circle many a time, I can safely say that Nantucket's roundabouts are some of the scariest – and most confusing – that I've encountered. I'm not sure if it's that people are in vacation-mode, or that there is very little merge room to get into the inner or outer circle, or that everyone seems to be driving a massive Land Rover Defender.

As a driver it can be hard to guess what your fellow drivers are about to do...especially since there is usually very little use of signaling in Nantucket roundabouts. You literally have to prognosticate where a 2-ton SUV with a ramming bar on its front grill is about to turn off or keep going 'round.

"Hmmm...I see a little bronze blond woman with a massive diamond in a Lilly Pulitzer dress on her cell phone plowing her way around the circle in her over sized tank...should I risk it and try to gun it off the line and get in front of her so that I can turn off on the next road...and what if the antsy distracted texting teenager to my left is thinking about making the same move? Better not risk it. Oh wait, she appears to be turning off...is there someone tailgating her or is she blocking the path and giving me an in? Go, GO, GOOO!"
{sample of my inner monologue as I am driving someone's very nice car on Nantucket}

Who would have thought that I would ever say that navigating through D.C. is easier?

This inevitably brought to mind a funny short from Tom-Tom introducing their line of Star Wars characters reading off directions for their navigation devices. See what Darth thinks about roundabouts...

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