Dan Hulslander: Roundabout risky


— I would like to know whose decision it was to replace the intersection of Mount Werner Circle and AprÃs Ski Way with a traffic circle. During the course of a normal work day, I pass through this area several times and have done so for the last nine years. At any given time of the year, this was the easiest flowing intersection on the mountain.

There was a very clear turnoff lane to exit Mount Werner onto AprÃs Ski Way, and the entire intersection was visible from all directions. About half of the people that used the old intersection used their turn signals (and if they didn't, you still had plenty of notice if they were turning). Now, no one realizes that they actually are turning from one road to another, so they don't signal at all. If you are coming onto Mount Werner, you barely can see a car coming into the circle; it will be totally impossible to see oncoming cars with 3 feet or more of snow in the middle. If anywhere, a traffic circle is needed at Ski Time Square and Mount Werner Circle. And, getting back to the snow factor, how is anyone supposed to clear snow out of all those little crosswalk areas without it costing us taxpayers a whole lot more money than it does already for snow removal? Could somebody on City Council or whoever is responsible for these decisions please think ahead just a little bit?

Dan Hulslander

Steamboat Springs


hubiem 8 years, 9 months ago

right on dan,

i said pretty much this same thing in the comments section when stories about this intersection were published earlier this year. this is a colossal waste of money to "improve" an intersection that had no real problems to begin with. the real problem in the mountain area is the intersection at mt. werner and ski time square drive.


Matthew Stoddard 8 years, 9 months ago

Are the SST's making it thru there okay? I know it's still under construction, but boy- it's tight in there! I'm wondering how my shuttles are going to do this winter thru that area.


handyman 8 years, 9 months ago

To those who made the decision to "improve" the intersection, get on a bus and listen to the grumbling driver who cannot make it throught the intersection without hitting the curb. Roundabouts, aka traffic circles, are not familiar to American drivers and will lead to many accidents. Off of I-70 between Vail and Eagle they have traffic circles on the exits which confuse drivers. The only people who have dealt with traffic circles are the people who have been to a few mountain towns that currently have them. Folks who are new to these areas have no idea what to do with them. We'll have to see what this winter brings. My bet is an increase in traffic accidents. To prevent accidents at traffic circles, how about a by-pass to avoid them. Kinda like a by-pass around downtown would decrease traffic and accidents.


hubiem 8 years, 9 months ago

the busses make it through just fine. i saw a semi having a tough time the other day. he was over the curbs and into the freshly planted grass.


elkeye 8 years, 9 months ago

dan...slow down & yield!

The prior intersection and its "fly-way" from Mount Werner Circle to AprÃs Ski Way was the easiest (i.e. fastest) intersection on the mountain and drivers using the "fly-way" frequently failed to yield to traffic.

The roundabout at Mount Werner Circle & AprÃs Ski Way (as well as the one to be constructed at Mount Werner Circle & Ski Time Square Drive) are designed to calm (i.e. slow) traffic speeds.

The pedestrian (not the motor vehicle) will have priority in "new" mountain base area.

"Designed to calm traffic, the modern roundabout is a one way circular intersection that promotes safe and efficient vehicle movement.

It incorporates a yielding right of way design to reduce traffic accidents, delays and speeds.

Modern roundabouts in the United States require vehicles to travel counterclockwise, with entering traffic yielding the right of way to circulating traffic.

You never merge: all motorists approaching a roundabout must yield. Drivers entering a roundabout must slow down to approximately 15-25 mph, avoid potential conflicts with vehicles already in the circle, and be prepared to stop for pedestrians and bicyclists."



twostroketerror 8 years, 9 months ago

Yes, I'm repeating my self, but roundabouts are very difficult with a mobile in one hand and a half caf soy latte in the other. You have to pay attention and actually drive. Totally un-American.


nondescript1 8 years, 9 months ago

Yeah but you don't need turnsignals! A lot of people will be really comfortable with that!


sportzmama 8 years, 9 months ago

I come from the Loveland/Fort Collins area on the Front Range and we've had round-a-bouts for years and to be honest with you I've never seen an accident at one of them. I too was very hesitant about them but now after getting used to them, I actually prefer them. there's no waiting to turn left anymore, which UPS has found decreases fuel costs.

Give this some time and don't grumble until you've given them a chance.


hubiem 8 years, 9 months ago

i'm not against roundabouts, i'm just against putting this one in when there are other intersections on mt werner circle that need it more. i've sat in a line of traffic backed from the ski time square stop sign all the way around the ski time roundabout and back past the bus stop almost to the sheraton entrance. most of this traffic is just using the ski time square roundabout as a turnaround. if there was a roundabout at ski time and mt. werner, all this traffic could turn around there instead of pulling into ski time square. one day around christmas last winter, it took me almost fifteen minutes to get from the torian plum to the stop sign at the end of ski time square.


i'm not sure if your comment is serious or not, but one of my only problems with roundabouts is people's inability to use their turn signals properly when driving through them. i was told by a european friend that the proper etiquette is to turn your left turn signal on when entering the roundabout unless you want to take the first exit. if you want to exit at the first exit then enter the roundabout with your right turn signal on. if you want to take a later exit, then you leave your left signal on until you get to the exit before the one you want to take. just as you pass that exit you turn your right signal on to let others pulling into the roundabout and those behind you know that you intend to turn at the next exit.

the other problem is that americans can't get used to yielding to traffic on their left at an intersection that reminds them of a 4-way stop. i've been sitting at the roundabout in ski time square waiting on someone who is entering on my left. they pull into the intersection, and then stop on my left and motion for me to go. the yield sign confuses people and they think they have to yield to everyone, not just traffic approaching on their left. yield signs at roundabouts should say "yield to traffic on your left."


JazzSlave 8 years, 9 months ago

And yet, lots of other ski towns seem to pull it off without a hitch.


id04sp 8 years, 9 months ago

There are roundabouts all over New England. The trick for people already in the circle is to NOT make eye contact with cars waiting to pull in. Once eye contact is made, the driver waiting to pull in will do so, secure in the knowledge that you will slam on the brakes to avoid hitting them.

The key to making this thing work the way it's supposed to is to have a cop standing in the middle of the traffic circle to enforce the requirement to use turn signals when you are leaving the circle. If you do not use your signal, you will be stopped and cited, or else chased down and tasered, your choice.

I hope this clears it up since I won't be able to provide further help after the forum rules change.



Salsa_Shack 8 years, 9 months ago

How is a traffic circle, roundabout, rotary or whatever you want to call it, hard to use? If it looks like your are going to get hit when you enter the circle, don't go, and if there is no one coming, go for it. However, I do agree that it is a bit narrow, much more so than the Ski Time Square circle.


6990res 8 years, 9 months ago

I lived on Cape Cod for years where they have roundabouts in every town - BUT they were HUGE and easy to navigate. I agree that this one is tight - I already kissed the curb in my Subaru. Can't wait for sh**ty weather conditions to make it even more fun!


dundalk 8 years, 8 months ago

ha. i recall getting caught in a roundabout in galway city, ireland, and couldn't figure out how to get out of galway city for almost an hour. on my last few trips to europe, i mastered the logic of 12, 3, 6, 9, as on a clock, and was able to drive through the traffic with no difficulties.


fish 8 years, 8 months ago

That was a good one, made me laugh, thanks.


Matthew Stoddard 8 years, 8 months ago

Wondering how many actually saw that movie. Not the best of the series.


madmoores 8 years, 8 months ago

Except here it would be "Hey kids, Torian Plum; Gondola".


Sheryl Pierson 8 years, 8 months ago

Another first for Steamboat! We have the privilege of having the first miniature roundabout designed and approved by people with miniature brains!


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