The three roundabouts going on Leucadia Blvd are proving to be a source of high drama.
Leucadia Blvd has become a busy road, especially since it was extended and connected to El Camino Real and beyond.
I-5 commuters use Leucadia Blvd to get to the Coast Highway 101. The train intersection causes all kinds of chaos, but for this blog post we will focus on the roundabouts.
The prototype roundabout on Santa Fe Dr is being touted as a success. I drove through the Santa Fe roundabout twice yesterday. It's visually appealing, especially driving up Santa Fe heading east, but both times there was almost zero traffic and I encountered no cars at the roundabout. Smooth sailing.
I also drove down Leucadia Blvd. There was a lot of traffic. I mean, a lot!
So, I am wondering what the purpose of the Leucadia Blvd roundabouts really are?
Is it traffic calming? I think that means slowing people down. Do we want people to go slower on Leucadia Blvd? Seriously, traffic is not traveling all that fast on Leucadia Blvd right now. Few houses are really exposed to that street and no kids are playing street hockey there.
If Leucadia Blvd is supposed to be an artery are arteries supposed to be 25mph?
The main burning question is, are roundabouts really safer for pedestrians? The pedestrian crossings are not in the middle of the roundabout like I've heard some people claim. They are before, and well marked. But I noticed that when driving through a roundabout, you are concentrating on making the curve and watching for vehicles that don't yield. The first pedestrian crossing you encounter before entering the roundabout is obvious, but the one the other side as you exit is tricky. It may be hard to see pedestrians already in the roundabout crosswalk, especially at night.
I would guess that any pedestrians struck at roundabouts were hit by vehicles exiting, not entering.
I propose some sort of push button flashing light in the ground for pedestrians, like the they have at the non-stop sign pedestrian crossings in Del Mar.
There has been a lot of heated roundabout discussion on this blog and a lot of the ins and outs have been well covered.
Santa Barbara is feeling the same growing pains that Encinitas is. Read this blog entry about Santa Barbara roundabouts DAS WILLIAMS Blog: Roundabouts