The Jeremy Ranch roundabout construction is the gift that keeps on giving. I was exiting Fresh Market and was stopped. Cars were coming from the roundabout, and I assumed they would stop, because of the stop sign that has been there for months. Except the stop sign is now gone. I pulled out, saw the cars weren’t slowing, and I accelerated to avoid the collision. Now, I assume those other drivers were cursing my name — as they should have been.
Now, I don’t consider myself an idiot, although I’m sure some readers might disagree. I’m generally paying attention and have written quite a bit about the roundabout changes. Yet, I almost caused a big problem.
Why? That’s a damn good question.
Are the roundabouts big with lots of construction going on? Yeah. Has the construction been going on for months? Sure. Is it complicated? Of course? Yet, none of that rings true.
A person from New Jersey chimed in on the roundabout issues and commented that this project was actually better than they had seen in New Jersey.
The comment solidified the issue. The issue isn’t obtrusiveness; it’s the changing rules of the road. One day traffic moves in both directions around the circle. The next day it moves in one way. Some days there is no merging required, and some days, you have to cross lanes to get to your exit. Some days there is a stop sign, and some days there is a yield sign. Some days there is neither.
Oh, and at night, it is pitch black.
In the case of my issue this morning, the stop signs had always been there, but today they weren’t. Now, you could say, “just be observant.” When I circled to see where I messed up, that’s what I thought. “God, I have to be more observant.”
However, then I continued back through the gauntlet and tried to practice that. In some places, there are four or five different points you have to examine mentally in detail if everything can change. Imagine that every four-way stop that you ever came to required that you had to look at each individual intersection, deduce whether there was still a stop sign, whether there was a yield sign, had anything else changed, and nothing you knew before or had become accustomed was guaranteed. You’re no longer a driver; you’re a fighter pilot heading into enemy territory.
For those that don’t drive the Jeremy Roundabout daily, imagine the same scenario on highway 248 headed into Park City. Some days you would drive in the left lane. Some days you would drive in the right lane. Sometimes there would be a four-way stop at Wyatt Earp while other days it would be a one way stop. However, you never know what’s going to happen, so even if you don’t have a stop, you may want to stop. Buffalo Bill may have the right-away some days, and in that case, a yield sign pops up on 228. Otherwise, traffic on 228 can just blow through that intersection.
Any time there is an accident, we as drivers are responsible. Yet whoever designs these changes has culpability. I don’t know if that’s Summit County, UDOT, or the road construction company. We’ll find out if something really goes bad.
We’ll get another chance to embrace change this week when it is all going to change on the Jeremy side.
The sooner this experiment finishes, the better. It’s mentally exhausting.