Is It Time to Make a Change at the Portsmouth, NH, Traffic Circle?
If you live in or around the Seacoast, I think we can all agree that the Portsmouth traffic circle is a tricky one. Even if you are confident in your ability to abide by the traffic laws at a traffic circle, rotary, roundabout, or whatever the heck you like to call them, we get a lot of visitors all year long who get confused.
I witness an "almost accident", or the aftermath of an actual accident, a few times a week at this traffic circle. Most of the time it's because people are driving in the inside lane when they need to take an exit. Then, they abruptly cut off the person in the outside lane in order to take their desired exit, causing the other drivers to slam on their brakes.
Recently, a member of the The City of Portsmouth, NH Facebook group mentioned she saw a pretty serious accident involving three (maybe four) vehicles. This sparked a conversation about whether it's time to make a change. What would that change look like? Would it be getting rid of the traffic circle altogether? Would it be installing traffic lights? Here are some suggestions I thought were interesting:
"Put a state trooper there at all times. You will be shocked to see everyone learn how to drive REAL QUICK!"
"Traffic Circles are not practical, they should do like Dover did, remove the circle and put a light. I know people don't like lights but better safe than sorry."
"I would love to see the right turn only lanes separated by a barrier"
Should the Portsmouth traffic circle be left alone, or should we try to make it a safer place for locals and visitors? What do you think?