11.19.2010

Man, people kick and scream about everything

I came across an article on roundabouts and their rise in the US.

People's thinking gets stuck in roundabouts: something is strange, frightening, and uncomfortable because I've never seen or used one before so let's not build any, which keeps them strange, frightening, and uncomfortable.

Roundabouts are great! They're safer because all the traffic is moving in the same direction, so head-ons and T-bones are impossible. Also it's hard to drive faster than 20 mph or so in them so any accidents that do occur are low-speed.

They're more efficient because vehicles only stop when there's heavy traffic so energy isn't wasted stopping, idling, and then getting moving again from a standstill. Also they're passive; no electricity or computers or lightbulbs are needed like with a traffic light.

By the way, we've written about them before.

I feel like it's the same thing about trains.

As an engineer, my dream would be if the country finally switched to metric. Metric is superior in any way you can measure, except in cases when you only ever do one level of calculation like in cooking or shopping. Then it doesn't matter; in fact English units are easy to do fractions with. Otherwise, if you do manipulations beyond that, English quickly turns into a huge sloppy mess. But I'm going off on a tangent.