April 23, 2009
Judging from the letters to the editor and talk around town it seems that the subject of a roundabout in Williston Village is an unfinished conversation. I, too, have serious reservations about the roundabout.
My husband and I have driven in many European countries and the United Kingdom and have driven through many roundabouts. They serve to slow traffic on open highways and to better distribute vehicles within towns. Concerning congestion, Mr. Jim Dillon (“Letters to the Editor: Real-world roundabouts,” April 16) refers to Switzerland and other countries in saying he has never seen more than two cars waiting to enter a roundabout. In contrast, we have often waited with several cars to enter. In many European towns roundabouts are entered only by traffic lights which control flow from several busy roads.
There seems to be agreement that a roundabout in Williston would have to be very large in order to accommodate trucks or farm vehicles. Such a large structure would take out the gas pumps at the Kwik Stop and reach the front steps of Williston Federated Church. This would put the store out of business and would render the front of the historic church inaccessible.
Chris Roy says the roundabout would be a “modern” one. In a historic village where residents can’t change their windows without approval from historic preservation authorities, how is it possible for the town to build a large “modern” roundabout that affects historic structures? Given the single lane roads and volume of traffic at rush hour, wouldn’t traffic lights be required to regulate the even flow of cars into the roundabout? If so, why not just put traffic lights at the existing intersection?
I believe Williston residents need to be intentionally included in this conversation. Otherwise, the Selectboard cannot say, “Residents’ views were not disregarded” (“Letters to the Editor: Roy explains Selectboard decision,” April 16).