BOSTON — Researchers at the National Highway Institute have discovered that the reason why U.S. productivity has fallen so dramatically in recent years is that there are now too many roundabouts in cities.
The scientists noted in a new study that such an incredible number of the circular traffic flow enhancers have been constructed that virtually no one can get anywhere quickly.
In fact, notes Dr. Lars Smith, many Americans simply can’t get anywhere anymore.
“During our research, we actually discovered instances where Americans drove through so many roundabouts they became disoriented and lost their sense of direction,” Smith said. “That led them to drive in perpetuity until they ran out of gas and had to be airlifted back home.
“Whereas once employers embraced the roundabout as a milestone in relieving traffic congestion, it’s become obvious to more than one corporate executive that they are productivity killers because fewer people are getting to work out time, or getting there at all,” Smith added.
The NHI researcher said the solution seems obvious to him but he wonders if city planners and engineers, working together with employers, will see it.
“I’d recommend having streets meet each other at 90-degree angles, perpendicular-like,” he said. “And add stop signs or stop lights so people don’t simply drive into oncoming traffic.”