The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
GETTING THERE: Roundabout the winner in television show contest
OK, roundabout doubters, the verdict is in.
And it’s been confirmed by a mainstream American television show, so it must be true.
The roundabout recently found itself in a heavyweight bout with a four-way stop intersection on the popular show “Mythbusters.”
The show set up a test of each intersection style, the American (four-way stop) versus the European (roundabout).
It wasn’t really even close, folks.
A flow of volunteer drivers went through the intersections twice during 15-minute stretches.
The four-way stop averaged 385 cars and seemed to work well enough; but the roundabout ran much more smoothly and tallied an average of 460 cars during its tests.
It would’ve been nice to have seen a four-way traffic signal intersection tested, but a betting man would be wise to stay clear of that horse.
Roundabouts are like a cold pool water. You don’t want to jump in and feel that freezing shock, but once you’ve jumped in and allowed your body to acclimate, it’s smooth sailing.
“Time to adopt it, America,” one of the “Mythbusters” hosts said after the test.
You can find the video on autoblog.com by typing “roundabout” or “Mythbusters” in the search box.
Switching the topic, before this week’s question, here’s a heads-up for Virginia Railway Express riders who park in Lot G in the city: The vandalism hasn’t stopped.
Last Tuesday, someone smashed a window in a car at the lot and another two were smashed Thursday night. That pushes the total to 16 vandalism incidents at the lot so far this year.
Dear Scott: During the early morning rush hour on State Route 3 going east to Interstate 95 at the Spotsylvania Mall traffic light, the westbound Route 3 light, left-turn lane into the mall, has a timing signal problem.
The light changes into the mall for westbound traffic when no cars have approached and stays on for a good minute and a half with no traffic turning.
Can someone check the timing to correct the problem to respond only when a car approaches and time it for as few seconds as possible so the majority of traffic can continue to the interstate? —Belinda M. Fletcher, Spotsylvania
A good catch by this week’s questioner.
The Virginia Department of Transportation had its engineers check the intersection and, sure enough, they found a malfunction.
VDOT fixed the vehicle detector and now traffic should be running better.
Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436