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. Over 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 who 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 are actually turning from one road to another, so they don't signal at all. If you are coming onto Mount Werner, you can barely 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?


fanofsteamboatsprings 8 years, 8 months ago


These are the same geniuses that can not even get a handful of traffic signals sequenced on Lincoln Ave.. Or maybe they should not even try as it could be no worse.

The towns of Avon and Vail have absolutely fallen in love with traffic circles. They are everywhere, even to the point where you have to drive through three of them in a row. It's kind of like a ride at Elitches. Traffic circles work well when they are part of the initial design of a roadway and intersection. They work horribly when they are retrofitted to an intersection where there is not adequate room and there are already a number of other issues such as crosswalks and bad visibility.

Steamboat is not Avon or Vail nor are we Denver (thankfully). But that does not mean it needs to be amateur hour when it comes to the traffic engineering department. The voters should pass a resolution that the city may not be allowed to install any more traffic circles or traffic lights until they learn how to manage the ones they have.


elkeye 8 years, 8 months ago

Dan...as stated in response to your letter published July 27th:

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 the "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."



Pilatus 8 years, 8 months ago

I don't think these folks have ever seen a real traffic circle in Europe...they are MUCH larger in diameter allowing you to actually get a benefit (not slowing to a crawl to turn) and you have time to see the other drivers intentions.


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