Spinning out of control


The Mirror reporter

There are plans for a new roundabout to be designed and constructed at the intersection of Northpoint Drive and Division Street. For those who don’t know, that is the intersection by Sentry and the road that leads to our school building.

Although the plans are not final, the people of Stevens Point and Plover should be prepared. All traffic coming on or off the highway would have to go through this roundabout.

Plenty of traffic comes through this area due to the two major high schools, Pacelli and SPASH whose total enrollment is 1757. There is even a greater number of employees at Sentry, around 2,250 people.

Building a roundabout would take about two months during which time people trying to get through the area will be funneled through congested alternative lanes. With so many people driving in this area I feel like there will be plenty of collisions just during construction.

The reasons some people may want this roundabout is because studies say that they are safer. The flow of traffic keeps going and it’s less stop and go, which results in fewer rear-end collisions.

Roundabouts have a 37 percent reduction in overall collisions, 75 percent reduction in injury collisions, 90 percent reduction in fatality collisions and a 40 percent reduction in pedestrian collisions. That data is pulled from the Federal Highway Administration.

In my opinion, the overall number of collisions would not go down. I think they would actually go up. First, you have to look at the type of drivers going into the roundabout. Many of them are inexperienced high school students.

Many high school students don’t know how to drive through a roundabout. They don’t know the rules. This can cause confusion and confusion leads to collisions.

Kim Engle, a Sentry worker said, “I think it is fine just how it is. I don’t like roundabouts and driving through them with high school students must be terrifying.”

I completely agree with her. There will be multiple inexperienced drivers, driving in something with which they are not comfortable.

Reese Gaber, a junior at SPASH said, “I usually try to avoid the roundabouts.”

This goes to show that younger drivers do not like going into them.

In my opinion, the roundabout should not be constructed. The circumstances of where it is helps me make that decision. If one person crashes in the roundabout, all traffic will be stopped. There is no other way to get past this than to go through that intersection. This could cause big problems for people who have strict schedules and need to be to work or school.

With where we are in the country there is a large chunk of time when there will be snow all throughout the roundabout. This will make it easy to side-swipe other cars when driving next to them.

There are a good amount of semi-trucks that get off this exit due to the various companies in the area.  Semi-trucks driving through the roundabout would take up all the lanes and slow everyone down. With a regular intersection, there can be two lanes and you can get around them without being bothered.