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Everything King: I like the idea of a roundabout about as much as I like snakes

In which a certain young city councillor tries to convince Wendy King not to leave town
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scared driver stock

I love living in Barrie.  

I like most everything about it.

However, there are two things that could happen that would have me hammering a “for sale” sign in my lawn faster than your head would spin.

1. A snake invasion

2. The dreaded roundabout

My understanding is the first has not happened. The second is on the way!

It is true.  The city is considering putting a roundabout downtown. It was recently given the initial go-ahead by city council for the Ross/Collier/Bayfield intersection.  It is suggested the 40-metre roundabout should be installed to help traffic flow east and west downtown and to give drivers an alternative to Dunlop Street.

As if the Five Points isn’t bad enough?

This news has shaken me to my very core! When I approach a roundabout, I start to hyperventilate as instructions I have heard from others who declare them “so easy” ring in my ears. I have watched the videos on You Tube. I have even done ride-alongs with drivers who do understand them. 

I am here to admit — I JUST DON’T GET IT.

I have found a way to avoid the one at Park Place in the south end of the city. If you turn in from Bayview Drive and go directly to McDonald's or Panera, you are golden.  

If you need to get to the retail outlets on the other side of the complex, sorry,  you’re on your own. My best advice is to approach the circles . . . close your eyes, grip the wheel and accelerate. If you don’t hear a sickening crunch, you have successfully mastered the roundabout.

Ward 9 Councillor Sergio Morales got more than he bargained for when I ran into him last week.

I got right to the point.

“Why do you insist on ruining my life”?

and

“Why do you hate me?”

“Do you WANT me to move away?”

Once he calmed me down, he suggested we sit down over coffee and talk it over. I figured who better to explain something that goes round and round aimlessly than a politician, right?

In typical man fashion, he explained how roundabouts will ease traffic congestion because no driver has to stop — everything just flows.

I hated to break it to him that the reason traffic congestion will ease is because nobody will go downtown in an effort to avoid the dumb things.

“You see nobody has to stop,” continued Morales.

“'Well," I respond, "if I stay in one lane going round and round because I don’t know when to get off and then I run out of gas, won’t that slow things down?”

“What if nobody knows who is supposed to go or when or from which lane and so everyone waits around—won’t that be slower”?

Morales (now seeming jittery) — “But that won’t happen.”

“Wanna bet?” I continued.

Morales who appears so youthful (looks 12) has now seemed to age before my eyes . He looked pale and weak.  We shook hands and parted ways.  I’m sure I heard him say “Thank goodness she doesn’t live in my ward”?  (okay, he didn’t SAY that but I bet he was thinking it)

I know. I can feel you judging me. However, I swear there are others like me out there. Most men won’t admit it. They pretend to know their easts from their wests and the rules of the merge. But they USUALLY don’t. Some woman seem to understand. They are the ones who understand graphs and were likely good at rocket science in school.

I am just a simple country girl who wants to get in my car, crank up the tunes, and drive preferably in a straight line directly to some retail therapy.

Instead, I will be circling the city and feeling more dizzy than usual.

The concept of the roundabout began in Britain. Isn’t this where they also drive on the left?

I rest my case.