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Old 04-15-2011, 07:11 PM   #1
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Default Alton Circle?

Anyone know what's happening at the Alton Circle?
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:25 PM   #2
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Yep, they are redoing it. It has been in the press now for a good year with public input to it. Many changes are being done. To many to try and explain on this thread.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:37 PM   #3
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What's wrong with the Alton Circle that they feel the need to spend who knows how many dollars to "fix it"?
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:47 PM   #4
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The overall oval size and shape will essentially be retained. Some circle entrance rework will result in a more conventional circle with vehicles in the circle having the right of way all the way around. Also some widening of Main Street from the circle up to Dunken Donuts and some side walk extensions. The work is federally funded.
Preliminary Plan: http://www.nh.gov/dot/projects/alton.../14121Aher.pdf
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:07 PM   #5
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I guess there wasn't anything more important to use the money for. I've been through the circle hundreds of times and never noticed a problem. I had heard that they were contemplating this but I thought for sure common sense would prevail and they would find a more important thing to spend our money on.
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:29 AM   #6
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I drove up there today to fish salmon (caught five) and it was a real hassle getting through. They better get it done before the Flatlanders get up here or it's gonna be a mess.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:06 AM   #7
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One reason, the people heading north on Route 11 (speed limit 30) are still doing 45 to 50 when they pass McD's and head onto route 28 north. Good way to get people to slow down, same as was done with their mini round-abouts.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:25 AM   #8
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Default Alton Circle

I remember reading sometime last winter that the Alton circle project was going to run untill november of 2011. I went through there yesterday with no hassle.

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Old 04-16-2011, 06:27 AM   #9
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The overall oval size and shape will essentially be retained. Some circle entrance rework will result in a more conventional circle with vehicles in the circle having the right of way all the way around. Also some widening of Main Street from the circle up to Dunken Donuts and some side walk extensions. The work is federally funded.
Preliminary Plan: http://www.nh.gov/dot/projects/alton.../14121Aher.pdf
"The work is Federally Funded" Wink! Wink! Free Money from your bankrupt government. Just another loan from our Chinese bankers.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:45 AM   #10
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Why do they call it a “traffic circle”.

It isn’t a “circle”, it is oval shaped. It can’t (or shouldn’t) be called a roundabout because it isn’t round.

I have never seen a traffic circle/roundabout that is oval shaped.

Just curious that’s all.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:46 AM   #11
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It will be a circle when they rebuild it.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:54 AM   #12
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It will be a circle when they rebuild it.
No it won't....below is the new layout....it's oval or oblong:

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Old 04-16-2011, 07:56 AM   #13
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Default Bad circle rules

The real problem for me is that it is opposite from virtually every other cirlce in the world; Right-of-way goes to the people entering the circle rather than those in the cirlce. It is backwards and dangerous (for poeple do not know it) for that reason.

This is also the reason the circle has to be so big; for the que in the cirlce rather than entering.
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:01 AM   #14
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How many accidents have happened there?
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:06 AM   #15
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The entrance to Dunkin Donuts can be a mess when cars are waiting to turn in heading South. Traffic backs-up and it should have a turn lane.

If the people entering have the ROW then they need stop signs or it will be confusing. Of course stop signs would defeat the round-a-boat.

On busy weekends I find the section near the Alton Store to be the most convoluted and needing of some widening and lane adjustments. Not sure I agree with the whole rework job. They should re-think the entry and exit points for the store as people darting in and out is part of the problem since there's a huge apron rather than a defined entry point.

Towing a boat through there on a busy weekend can be a true test of your brakes....
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:06 PM   #16
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Default Route 11 Right-of-way

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The real problem for me is that it is opposite from virtually every other cirlce in the world; Right-of-way goes to the people entering the circle rather than those in the cirlce. It is backwards and dangerous (for poeple do not know it) for that reason.
The problem at the Alton Circle was that the cars entering from Route 11 East or West had the right of way over those entering from Rt. 28 N/S, not those already in the circle as most roundabouts have. Many times when I was headed west on Rt. 11 just past McD's and was bearing left at the CITGO station to continue onto Main St., those coming down Rt. 28S would fail to observe the yield sign (and were doing more than the posted 30 mph). Also, heading east on Rt. 11 just past Dunkin Donuts the traffic again coming down 28 would think they had the right of way since they were already in the circle. Not so, there is another Yield sign there as well across from Aubuchons. I have seen several bad accidents at the circle. Does anyone remember the overturned fuel truck and subsequent power failure on a July Sunday about 15 years ago?
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:22 PM   #17
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Default Alton Elongated circle Ellipse oval

When completed, all entrances will have a slight right curve to enter the circle. The traffic on the circle will have the right of way and traffic entering the circle will have to yield. The entrance into the store and gas station will be redone, with only one small entrance in and out on rte 11.

Accidents: yes there have been some, besides the Irving Gas truck that overturned (too fast on the curve). It really isn't the number of accidents in the past, it's about trying to prevent the really big one in the future. Most locals or those with local knowledge realize that they must hold their breath with other traffic around, because many folks feel that they are on the circle, therefore they have the right of way and blow off the yield signs. Hopefully it will smooth out the traffice flow and greatly reduce the potential for a major accident.
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:28 PM   #18
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RUSTY I stand corrected. Thanks for the layout. It still looks dangerous to me. Lets see how many accidents it stops or increases.
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Why do they call it a “traffic circle”.

It isn’t a “circle”, it is oval shaped. It can’t (or shouldn’t) be called a roundabout because it isn’t round.

I have never seen a traffic circle/roundabout that is oval shaped.

Just curious that’s all.
Because the terms "traffic oval" or "traffic elipse" will make people look at you funny when you're trying to give directions.
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:58 PM   #20
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AW,
Judging by the layout of the oval, I would take the kids down there and set out a few seats. Looks like the perfect spot to watch a race.
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Old 04-16-2011, 02:03 PM   #21
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How many accidents have happened there?
The real question is how many accidents at this site compared to a properly configured circle or round-about, that is on par with most every other circle or round-about someone could encounter in the entire country.

Take a look at the layout posted above, I think it will all come clear as to the improvements. The lines tell the story. Looks a lot like Portsmouth.
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Old 04-16-2011, 02:20 PM   #22
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jmen24......your posts are funny!

It was proposed to make it a true roundabout/circle but it would cost 2.5 million compared to the oval shape modification of 1 million.

This is what was proposed (and I think it should have been done this way):

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Old 04-16-2011, 02:20 PM   #23
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When completed, all entrances will have a slight right curve to enter the circle. The traffic on the circle will have the right of way and traffic entering the circle will have to yield. The entrance into the store and gas station will be redone, with only one small entrance in and out on rte 11.

Accidents: yes there have been some, besides the Irving Gas truck that overturned (too fast on the curve). It really isn't the number of accidents in the past, it's about trying to prevent the really big one in the future. Most locals or those with local knowledge realize that they must hold their breath with other traffic around, because many folks feel that they are on the circle, therefore they have the right of way and blow off the yield signs. Hopefully it will smooth out the traffice flow and greatly reduce the potential for a major accident.
Just curious.
Does having traveled through the circle more than 1,500 times qualify me for
"local knowledge"?
This is just one more example of "fixing a problem" that barely exists. These are the types of projects that benefit those hired to do it. This is just another example of why this country is so far in debt.
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Old 04-16-2011, 04:00 PM   #24
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RUSTY The original was probably scrapped because it would be too hard to get to McD's for my morning coffee.
Otherwise, it looked okay. Thanks for both layouts.
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Old 04-16-2011, 04:05 PM   #25
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RUSTY The original was probably scrapped because it would be too hard to get to McD's for my morning coffee.
Otherwise, it looked okay. Thanks for both layouts.
Thanks RailroadJoe,

I knew there was a better reason than just the 1.5 million difference.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:43 PM   #26
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Quote:
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No it won't....below is the new layout....it's oval or oblong:

This looks like a Race Track to me...but what do I know..? Maybe Street Racing after MidNight. That might work.............Like the 60s. NB
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:08 AM   #27
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Ah, well, another case of if it ain't broke, fix it anyway. In my fifty years, I have driven through that "circle" literally thousands of times. Never had a problem, never saw a problem, never heard of a problem.

But then, I learned to drive in Massachusetts (don't start) and got a license in NJ (repeat, don't start) so I wouldn't really find anything to be a problem!

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Old 04-17-2011, 06:57 PM   #28
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With all that free money, it's a wonder they did not make it 2 way. Now that would be exciting.

Milford NH has an "oval" in the center of town around the band stand. In reality it is a triangle. Go figure.
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:44 AM   #29
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Quote:
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jmen24......your posts are funny!

It was proposed to make it a true roundabout/circle but it would cost 2.5 million compared to the oval shape modification of 1 million.

This is what was proposed (and I think it should have been done this way):
Why? I agree that no change was needed, but if they wanted to spend the money, the set up they are going with makes the most sense - easier on my tires, too.
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Old 04-20-2011, 07:31 PM   #30
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Towing a boat through there on a busy weekend can be a true test of your brakes....
Never mind what it does to your sanity..................... and blood pressure!
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:19 AM   #31
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With all that free money, it's a wonder they did not make it 2 way. Now that would be exciting.

Milford NH has an "oval" in the center of town around the band stand. In reality it is a triangle. Go figure.
I'm glad they didn't pick this plan:
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:48 AM   #32
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The federal funding resulted from an “earmark” added to legislation around 2004 +/- by an unnamed member of the then NH Congressional delegation. The amount of the earmark was sufficient to totally redesign the circle and DOT then believed the funding could only be used for the circle.

Around 2006 DOT developed plans for discussion: the “signal plan” which they advised against as the least safe and lowest capacity and the “roundabout plan” which they favored as safest and highest long term capacity.

In a series of public hearings it was clear that public sentiment strongly favored keeping the existing oval shape. The plan evolved into making minor safety related changes to the existing oval.

As only a portion of the funding would be used, DOT was asked to stretch the rules to include nearby side walk extensions and widening Main Street up to Dunken Donuts to help alleviate morning donut traffic back-ups. Also DOT was asked to look into dealing with safety issues as far away as the Stockbridge Corner intersection.
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Old 05-01-2011, 03:33 PM   #33
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What is happening at the Alton circle? Seems as if all work has stopped. They only did part of the grading and almost all the equipment is gone, only a roller and front end loader.
Did they run out of the million already?
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:52 AM   #34
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Quote:
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What is happening at the Alton circle? Seems as if all work has stopped. They only did part of the grading and almost all the equipment is gone, only a roller and front end loader.
Did they run out of the million already?
Not sure if this article answers any traffic circle questions, but it does talk about the elimination of some future projects.

http://www.laconiadailysun.com/story...way-priorities
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Old 05-02-2011, 01:18 PM   #35
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Default Rte 11 east entry to circle

The are working on the section of rte 11 from the old NHEC building to the circle, putting in drainage and will be widening the road to the circle providing a turn lane into Dunkin Donuts. Work has not ceased, just a different phase of the work right now.

I'm sure that by careful planning, construction on the circle itself will get into full swing in time for the summer season and its associated traffic .
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:17 AM   #36
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I'm sure that by careful planning, construction on the circle itself will get into full swing in time for the summer season and its associated traffic.
Yeah, I think they're set to post one-way, one-lane signs during Memorial Day weekend; tear up the pavement in time for Bike Week; post detour and no-entry signs over the 4th; and bring in the heavy-duty front-end loaders, dump trucks, and "caution -- traffic control flagmen ahead" in time for Labor day. And it'll stretch into November just so they don't miss the fall foliage season.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:50 PM   #37
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At the rate they are going, it looks like a winter job to me.
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:39 PM   #38
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Winter 2017
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:21 PM   #39
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It's not like there's any reason to rush it anyhow. It sure seems like there could be more important problems out there that should be fixed first.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:48 AM   #40
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Maybe waiting for the price of hot top to go up. Not high enough to justify the million to do the job.

Then again, maybe they can not find the fill to bring it up to grade on the north bound Route 11.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:31 PM   #41
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Default Alton Circle update

Good news: no change for those heading north or south on Rte 28. Same entrance and exit on the circle, and you still have to yield to traffic on circle.

The "oh my gosh" news involves Rte 11 entering the circle. First, the better part of the news is that if you are coming in from the Rochester area, heading west as you get to the circle, there is now a slight bear to the left as you approach the circle and you have to yield to traffic on the circle. The really OMG is entering the circle from Alton heading east: 1. It is under construction and is gravel. Traffic entering the circle now has to yield to traffic on the circle. The construction is from about the Dunkin Donuts and is unpaved for both east and west bound traffic between DD and the circle.

The good news is that the traffic seems smooth when they are not doing the work. When they are working, it is usually one lane alternating and is obviously a mess.

Just a heads up for those coming up this week end.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:55 PM   #42
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I think it's gonna mess up the locals more than anything, as we only had to yield entering the circle from Route 28 - whereas if you were entering the circle from Route 11, the traffic IN the circle had to yield to you.

More than once already I've nearly gotten clipped by someone NOT looking at the yield signs... and I've noticed those signs are rather high up - I drive a minivan and the signs are as high or higher than my window - so anyone in a little sports car wouldn't see the signs very well.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:11 PM   #43
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Default Lighted signs

They do have lighted signs both as you approach the circle on Rte 11 from the east and west stating that traffic has to yield to traffic on the circle.

I don't think it is going to be that bad until they take the lighted signs away...then look out for the locals.
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:15 AM   #44
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Arrow Yeild Signs

I think it would be great if they painted YEILD on the road in addition to the signs. Maybe the people driving on auto-pilot would see them!
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:56 AM   #45
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Agreed!

I'm gonna sound like an ol' fart here, but it seems like people do everything (talk on the cell phone, eat a burger, smoke a cig, read a map, turn and talk to the person next to them, play with the radio buttons, fiddle with their GPS, and yell at their kids) - but they forget to pay attention!

Traffic circles work great if drivers are attentive!
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:15 AM   #46
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I think that the locals will catch-on pretty quickly. Even the black bear will be yielding upon entering the circle!
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Old 05-28-2011, 09:31 AM   #47
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I didn't see one thing wrong with the way it was. There are lots of other issues with the roads that are a lot worse, like cracks and potholes!
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:42 AM   #48
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Default Bahre race track!

What I am seeing in this oval mess is a future NHIS. You think Bahre had a hand in this?

It will be good for the Alton economy if they put grandstands around the oval and charge admissions. Have betting slips on when the next pile up will be!

It will be the next best thing to watching the idiots at the boat launch.
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Old 05-28-2011, 03:47 PM   #49
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Default boat launch over circle

The boat launch is better. Does not matter whether they are putting one in or taking it out. Some are experts and others are amusing to say the least.
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:46 AM   #50
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The traffic circle before and after the changes is a lot like boating. You know who has the right of way but you are not quite sure if the other guy does. So you have to pay attention all the time.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:13 PM   #51
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Driving through the circle today it was a fuster cluck.

I think the stop light plan is what I would have preferred.
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