Roundabout is a win-win | Editorial

The roundabout is a win-win.

Not only did the Town of Friday Harbor save money on the construction of a smaller-than-standard traffic circle, they are making downtown streets safer.

On May 9, after about a year of planning, the bright yellow painted roundabout at the corner of Argyle Avenue and Spring Street opened two days before schedule. The roundabout is painted with a rubbery substance, which also allows large, combination trucks to drive over it if they can’t make the turns.

Prior to its installation, the intersection was an abyss of confusion and disorder. Drivers at the stop sign struggled to know who was turning when and where. Pedestrians stood near the crosswalk with expressions of trepidation on their faces.

Tourists faced the task of embarking on this daunting intersection – without years of practice – as they headed for ferries.

The roundabout provides order, flow and moves traffic in a much safer fashion. Yet some drivers are making life more complicated than it has to be.

If you don’t know how to use the roundabout heed the following rules:

• Drivers should not stop in the roundabout.

• Motorists, outside the roundabout, should yield to traffic already inside.

• When a gap in traffic opens, drivers should enter the circle and use turn signals before exiting.

We applaud Town of Friday Harbor Administrator Duncan Wilson and his staff for devising an intersection solution that didn’t require intrusive construction, concrete or a ballooning budget.