"Here we go, loopty loo," plays in my head each time I drive through one of our local roundabouts.
Beyond the ascetically pleasing nature of them — what does the community think of the roundabouts and what is their function?
To find out, I started an online poll on the Tracy Talks Facebook page. The majority of the comments were not positive.
"I know few people including my husband that have almost gotten into accidents with people going the wrong way through them," Tina Vieira stated. "They are dangerous, especially with the fog we get and a waste of money."
"Against them," commented Jolene Ingersoll. "Especially the one on 11th Street going out to the freeway, someone is going to get hurt out there.... Yes the road needed to be fixed but it didn’t need to be a roundabout, especially in a busy intersection."
"I’m ok for the roundabouts downtown," commented Jeffery Durant. "The one at 11th down by the highway entrance is stupid. That is a high truck traffic (area) and the lanes are narrow and confusing."
I have heard roundabouts referred to as a traffic calmer and they do seem to be quite popular on the East Coast and in Europe, but are they safer than having a standard signal light?
There are five roundabouts in the city, according to Kul Sharma, assistant director of development services for Tracy. He said they "are more efficient long-term" because maintenance and operational costs for signal lights are eliminated. The roundabout at Sixth Street and Central Avenue prevented the installation of two signal lights at that intersection, Sharma said.
Since January, there have been 16 vehicle accidents at the 11th Street roundabout, east of Tracy, according to statistics provided by the California Highway Patrol Tracy office. It was completed in October 2012.
From January to July 2012, prior to the roundabout being constructed, there were two vehicle crashes at the same intersection.
So what are your thoughts on the matter? Does the roundabouts help or hinder our community?
• Anne Marie Fuller is a Tracy arts commissioner and the television host of "Helpful Hints with Anne Marie" on Channel 26 at 7 p.m. Fridays. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.