The Norman Transcript

Opinion

September 7, 2013

Roundabouts on Lindsey are a bad idea

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

There are so many things wrong with the Lindsey Street upgrade that I don’t exactly know where to start. So I’ll start with history.

Lindsey Street is a section line road. For those who do not live in the country, this means that when this area was surveyed and plotted, Lindsey was designated as a major traffic artery falling exactly on the one-mile grid that covers the entire state of Oklahoma border to border.

Because it is a major traffic artery, it should remain a major traffic artery. The fact that the University of Oklahoma has encroached on its right of way and easements should not be a factor. We own it, we should take it back.

I grew up on the Classen Traffic Circle (excuse me “roundabout”) in Oklahoma City.  It was the No. 1 accident location in Oklahoma City until it was finally plowed under in favor of a normal traffic interchange. The Classen roundabout covered almost a square block worth of real estate — significantly more than can be acquired along Lindsey Street.

Roundabouts work in England because they were designed with the road when the road was designed, there are huge signs posted to guide travelers at their entrances and they themselves are huge. Never mind that the British are the only folks on the planet that understand the protocol for using a roundabout.

Finally, the most worrysome aspect of this project is that some of those who will make the decision that the rest of us will have to live with collect their paychecks from the University of Oklahoma. I’m pretty sure that one phone call from the North Oval negates all the rational arguments on the table if they are not the University of Oklahoma’s rational arguments.

Lindsey Street is a main traffic artery, it needs to be five lanes wide, two in each direction with a center turn lane. We don’t need a cute tree-lined boulevard with roundabouts; we need a traffic mover. A sidewalk would be nice, but nobody in their right mind would ride a bicycle on Lindsey Street any more than we would ride one on Robinson or Main Street.

The citizens who use Lindsey to go to work in the morning and come home in the evening should be able to do so,  just like the folks who live off Main and Robinson streets. We’re the ones paying the bills.

Steven J. Ruedy

Norman

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