Oh My! Major Change In My Life, A Traffic Circle

“The construction of a roundabout at the intersection of PTH 2 and PTH 3 south of Oak Bluff and a consultation on interim safety improvements for the south Perimeter Highway will ensure Manitobans are better protected on major highways in the province, Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler announced today.
 
“There have been a number of concerns related to this intersection,” said Schuler. “The volume of traffic has created long lines as well as unsafe merging and crossings. This roundabout is the product of a thorough design process, taking into account speed, driver comfort, future growth and oversized loads.”
 
The minister noted this will be the first roundabout on the provincial highway network and will help manage the traffic of approximately 10,000 vehicles every day. Research shows roundabouts reduce fatal collisions by nearly 90 per cent and injuries by as much as 76 per cent, while being less expensive to maintain as compared to traffic signals. The project will go to tender this spring and is expected to be complete later this year.”
 
For all but a few years of my life I have been rolling through this intersection, first in my father’s car and lately in my own. It has been uneventful. Apparently, though, at peak periods it’s a mess. To solve the problem the government intends to create a “traffic circle” aka “roundabout”.

To some this is not a problem. Every few blocks they encounter them and everyone knows the rules of the road. However, I’ve only been in traffic circles three times in my life and I expect it’s dangerous to have me mentally reviewing what to do as I approach one full of traffic of similarly confused drivers. In Winnipeg, my nearest city, I think I’ve only seen one roundabout. Previously, I saw one in some town in Saskatchewan. I really don’t remember which. These were decades apart.

A refresher from the Manitoba Driver’s Handbook:
“When approaching a roundabout you will see this roundabout sign.
 
Reduce your speed to the posted speed limit or slower and be prepared to yield to pedestrians/cyclists and vehicles in the roundabout. When no traffic is approaching from the left you may proceed into the roundabout. When on the roundabout you have the right-of-way over vehicles entering, continue until you reach the street you wish to exit. Signal your intentions to exit before you reach the street you wish to exit onto. As you exit, watch for pedestrians within the pedestrian corridor and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians/cyclists.”

Chuckle. What could possibly go wrong?

Anyway, there is abundant research proving these things are safer. I don’t doubt that, but when this is the first one, ever, on Manitoba’s highway system, I think there will be a period of adjustment. 🙁 I wonder how many fenders will be bent in the process?

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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40 Responses to Oh My! Major Change In My Life, A Traffic Circle

  1. DrLoser wrote, “you are claiming that (approximately) 100^3/2 == 70^3”.

    No, I’m not. I’m claiming 1002 ~= 2 X 70^2. ENERGY, not DRAG! Energy is what costs money. DRAG X DISTANCE comes to energy. The air-drag is approximately proportional to the square of the speed and costs you money/energy in proportion to the distance travelled.

  2. DrLoser says:

    At 70 km/h air-drag wastes about half as much energy as 100km/h.

    The power expenditure has several terms: rolling resistance which is nearly constantly increasing, accessories which is nearly constant, and air-drag which increases approximately as the cube of the speed

    Interesting, Robert. So, you are claiming that (approximately) 100^3/2 == 70^3. I’ve just checked this via the invaluable (as in, it doesn’t cost money at has no value) LibreCalc, and in fact the divisor is more like 2.92.

    I offer this as an early unit test for the boffo Solo Efficiency Website that you are about to create.

    Do feel free to claim that 3 is approximately 2.

  3. DrLoser says:

    That’s why I intend to drive ~70km/h to have a good compromise between speed and efficiency with my Solo.

    Sounds exciting, Robert. Now, you probably have four or five months before your gleaming cherry-red worthless little tricycle is delivered by the Worthless Tricycle Stork, and you are just the person to prepare for this. Not to say, share your preparations with the world.

    That GEBC thing was a bit of a flop, but obviously the competition was always going to be tough. (Your website would have been the bigly most awesomest, obviously, but sometimes people just go with the one on the top of the Google rankings. It is the way of life.)

    But we can all agree that you are the perfect person to create a Pascal-based web site that interactively allows people to choose their own preferred speed (indeed mileage between recharging) for the Solo.

    I encourage you to do this. Think of it like FLOSS, where part of the deal is that you give back to the community. Obviously, in the case of FLOSS, all you have ever done is to leech off the community, but — you have the change to make it all up, and more!

  4. DrLoser says:

    No it is not possible to push 2500 lbs car.

    Well, that’s quite an interesting observation. I wish you’d told me that two weeks ago, when I did indeed push a 2500 lbs car. Up a hill. Covered in snow. It would have saved me an awful lot of effort, although obviously the car wouldn’t have gone up the hill, through the snow, and round the corner, back to home.

    Physic formula of friction is F=9.8mu.

    Close, but no banana. (I’m charitably assuming that by “u” you mean “μ”.)

    The physical formula for static friction which friction you referenced, and which friction is relevant to pushing a 2500 lbs car from scratch, is in fact F(max) = uF(n), where F(n) is the normal force and u represents μ. Which is of course what your formula represents, given gravity as the normal force.

    Except, and this is important, that F(max) is, wouldn’t you believe it, the maximum static friction force, which ranges from zero upwards. The actual static friction force depends upon the amount of sliding involved, and the sliding, of course, transfers some of that static frictional force to kinetic frictional force.

    Or, in terms of two weeks ago, what I actually did by pushing a 2500 lbs vehicle was to overcome enough of the static frictional force — and a moment’s thought will lead you to the conclusion that this is a very difficult thing to do if you simply apply power from the engine via the diffs to the rotation of the wheels, no matter how low a gearing you set — and to shift that static frictional force to kinetic frictional force.

    Once you, as the person pushing the sodding thing, have managed this task, you can now transfer the problem at hand to the car’s engine, which deals with kinetic frictional force.

    The basic equation is the same, but you are now dealing with a different μ. For all practical purposes, the coefficient of kinetic friction is always less, and sometimes considerably less, than the coefficient of static friction. Which means that the lateral force applied through the various bits of the power train can actually take effect.

    This, as opposed to magic, is how I managed to help a 2500 lbs car to drive uphill in the snow.

    Did I say you almost get a banana? You don’t. But you do appear to be, basically, a bunch of them.

    In short, I suspect you are confusing momentary lateral force (counteracting static friction) with persistent lateral force (counteracting kinetic friction).

    Don’t feel too badly about this. Robert is no doubt equally as ignorant of the mechanics of, say, driving round a traffic circle.

  5. joepeatf wrote, “Car is most efficient at 85 mph, highway mpg is bigger than city mpg.”

    That is not true. All cars tend to be less efficient at very low speed and at very high speed with some optimal efficiency in between. A typical ICEd vehicle is most efficient around 50 km/h. A typical EV is most efficient around 20 km/h. The reasons are several. The power expenditure has several terms: rolling resistance which is nearly constantly increasing, accessories which is nearly constant, and air-drag which increases approximately as the cube of the speed. It’s the air-drag which is the killer for highway driving. That’s why I intend to drive ~70km/h to have a good compromise between speed and efficiency with my Solo. At 70 km/h air-drag wastes about half as much energy as 100km/h. This makes a big increase in range.

  6. joepeatf says:

    Stop name calling me

    You mean, the Solo EV was designed? Really?

    Jerry’s Solo is green energy design. They do not design for traffic circle. Study say traffic circle is more pollution. Car is most efficient at 85 mph, highway mpg is bigger than city mpg. Traffic circle is x2 bigger than intersection, it makes urban sprawl worse. Always I avoid traffic circle.

    Traffic circle is more danger in USA. Fact is they are not comfortble in traffic circle.

    Truck is not design for traffic circle, it is too big, it will touch curb.

    LOL, my 9-year old nephew pushed my 1986 S-10 and it weighed only 2500lbs., granted it was on concrete, but blows Son-of-Fifi’s statement out of the water.

    No it is not possible to push 2500 lbs car. Physic formula of friction is F=9.8mu. I hope you know physics. Car is not moving, it has static friction. Tires design to grip in asphalt. Tires make static friction bigger. But in traffic circle what if car is stuck in pot hole? Static friction is bigger = push is not possible. Grece nephew only can push car if car is moving.

  7. Dr Loser says:

    Fact is Solo EV only design for 4 way intersection.

    You mean, the Solo EV was designed? Really?

    This will come as news to anybody who is not named Robert Pogson.

    Of course, since it’s not actually available, the question of design is moot.

  8. Grece says:

    Truck has too much weight, you can’t push truck. They are 40000 lbs, you can’t push trucks and 9 year old can’t push them obviously.

    LOL, my 9-year old nephew pushed my 1986 S-10 and it weighed only 2500lbs., granted it was on concrete, but blows Son-of-Fifi’s statement out of the water.

    Robert, where do you find these low IQ folk at? I seriously like to know, as I could use some for menial tasks.

  9. Deaf Spy says:

    Robert, if you are to side with the newest Fifi, why don’t you start by commenting this gem:

    “Fact is Solo EV only design for 4 way intersection.”

  10. DrLoser wrote, “Way to go to miss the point by a country mile.”

    Way to be pointless.

  11. DrLoser says:

    So, you must be right because you claim to be wealthy with no evidence altogether?

    Winner! The new Fifi! Even more useless at reading comprehension than the old Fifi!

    Wealthy, indeed. Snort. Way to go to miss the point by a country mile.

  12. joepeatf wrote, “Jerry’s Solo can’t push, it has 3 wheels only”.

    The number of wheels doesn’t have much to do with pushing. Lack of a bumper would be more critical. Solo is not designed for pushing or pulling. It’s optimized for moving one person and a bit of luggage back and forth, nothing more nor less.

  13. Grece says:

    , Jerry’s Solo can’t push, it has 3 wheels only. Likely 50%, Solo EV will roll on its back.

    Interesting, interesting indeed.

    Anyone can push the Solo mobility cart, how else do you think the manufacturer moves them around the shop?

    Suggesting that the Solo mobility cart will teeter on it’s back when being pushed, doesn’t make any sense. For one, typically you push from the rear of vehicle and second, the heavy 18650 battery trays on either side keeps the center of gravity very low.

    It would be enlightening to see a CG/CM/CP analysis done of the Solo mobility cart. I do know that the Model S Tesla has a 18″ CG, which help’s it to achieve a lateral acceleration of 0.9g, meaning in layman’s terms, it can whip around a turn at a high enough speed to simulate 90% of earth’s gravity sideways.

  14. Deaf Spy says:

    joepeatf, are you related to oiaohm by chance?

    Perhaps joepeatf is oiaohm’s little brother.

  15. Deaf Spy says:

    Fact is Solo EV only design for 4 way intersection.

    Hey, Robert, will you comment on this? If this is ever true, then Solo’s potential market will be severely limited. To the extend of being close to zero.

  16. Grece says:

    joepeatf, are you related to oiaohm by chance?

  17. Silly_ms_fanboys says:

    My total comes to about $50 million or so. Yours

    So, you must be right because you claim to be wealthy with no evidence altogether? Yet another case of “not even wrong”.

  18. joepeatf says:

    @Grece Oh my! Major change in my life…Ban Grece!

    Well, you’re too stupid to figure it out, so obviously you’d never guess. But we had a little snow around here two weeks ago, so I got to see a nin year old tackle a very similar problem: a car stuck half-way up a 1 in 20 slope. You’ll never guess the brilliant solution that the nine year old came up with.
    I’ll save you half an hour of migraines. You push the stupid thing out the way.

    But Dr, Jerry’s Solo can’t push, it has 3 wheels only. Likely 50%, Solo EV will roll on its back. Fact is Solo EV only design for 4 way intersection.

    Truck has too much weight, you can’t push truck. They are 40000 lbs, you can’t push trucks and 9 year old can’t push them obviously.
    https://jalopnik.com/truck-sizes-classification-explained-from-tacomas-to-1613958192

    But do, please, try and wrap your head around the idea of a traffic circle, or roundabout. It’s a fairly simple idea. And the idea is precisely this: danger does not come at one from every direction. Look left (assuming a country where you drive on the right), and there’s your clear and present danger. And rather interestingly, the clear and present danger only needs to look to the right to avoid being a clear and present danger, on the assumption that the proportion of homicidal maniacs in Manitoba is not unusually skewed. It’s sort of a win-win for Winnipeg, really.

    You do not understand danger of traffic circle. Danger come from right, car is merging, they hit side. Danger come from back, tailgater hit your back. Danger come from front, confused people brake, you hit car’s back.

    SUV are very big cars, families drive kid to school monday-friday (2/day). They are danger in traffic circle since SUV cant turn in sharp corner. They say SUV has big rollover rate, it is bad because 30 miles speed in traffic circle = rollover.

    DrLoser truck make accident in traffic circle, they are too big. Also traffic circle discriminate truck people, you do not know caption obvious, they are banned from it.
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/uxmDf7jlpkE/maxresdefault.jpg

  19. DrLoser says:

    Incidentally, here in roundybout land, we know how to deal with an automobile stuck in a traffic circle. You’d never guess how we do it.

    Well, you’re too stupid to figure it out, so obviously you’d never guess. But we had a little snow around here two weeks ago, so I got to see a nin year old tackle a very similar problem: a car stuck half-way up a 1 in 20 slope. You’ll never guess the brilliant solution that the nine year old came up with.

    I’ll save you half an hour of migraines. You push the stupid thing out the way.

  20. DrLoser says:

    Some car fails in one of the ramps and the car can’t pull off and traffic piles up behind for a mile and shuts down the circle.

    Yeah, that sort of thing happens all the time, Robert. (You’ll excuse me if I picked just one of your four stupidities to laugh at. Any of the other three would have sufficed exactly as well.)

    It occurs to me that you should give up driving altogether, because you seem to be far too intellectually challenged by the endeavour.

    Imagine a Martian, freshly landed on earth. Imagine a Martian driving a car around Winnipeg. Imagine a Martian encountering a traffic circle. Imagine a Martian, for some reason, having palpitations over any one of the four “problems” you bring up.

    I’m imagining that Martian right now. I’m imagining a kindly, possibly senile, old Martian with an IQ somewhere between 50 and 60. I’m imagining a Martian who, unlike you, genuinely wants to help other people, even other people that he has never met before.

    And you know what the first thing this Martian would ask?

    “Where is Robert Pogson? I need to chauffeur him around his local traffic circles in a nice, electrically-powered, Nissan Leaf for the next five years or so.

    “I’ve managed to teach a chimpanzee to do it. Robert Pogson is a challenge, I agree, but it’s worth a try.”

  21. DrLoser says:

    That kind of thinking is why bad software exists.

    An interesting tangent, Robert, but let’s explore further. How would you know?

    The one thing you know less about than driving around a traffic circle is, interestingly enough, writing software. Specifically, professional software. Oh, I’ll grant you the odd stupid little algorithm encased in Pascal, and maybe a twiddle in Bash here and there, but be honest here. Total the entire amount of money that any employer has made out of the software you wrote.

    My total comes to about $50 million or so. Yours?

    As Wolfgang von Pauli rather sadly said about one of his student’s effots: “You’re not even wrong.”

  22. Grece says:

    That kind of thinking is why bad software exists

    Which bad software Robert?

  23. DrLoser wrote, “Look left (assuming a country where you drive on the right), and there’s your clear and present danger.”

    That kind of thinking is why bad software exists. Use a little imagination:

    • Someone does not get the idea of slowing a bit and runs into your backside.
    • Someone misses a turn and tries to back up.
    • Someone misjudges the gap and two or more vehicles merge in the circle blocking traffic in four directions.
    • Someone gets confused in the circle and slams on the brakes just because that’s what confused people do.
    • Some car fails in one of the ramps and the car can’t pull off and traffic piles up behind for a mile and shuts down the circle.

    Many of those things can happen anywhere but most of them are a lot less likely on the nice straight road to which we’ve become accustomed. I may be spoiled but I prefer to drive straight instead of in a circle. It’s just the way I am.

  24. DrLoser says:

    Now, there’s danger come at one from every direction.

    Try and understand this, Robert. I know you are old. I know you are foolish. I know you have never really been open to thinking about new things since that day in 2004 when you dropped your Windows laptop on the airport tarmac.

    But do, please, try and wrap your head around the idea of a traffic circle, or roundabout. It’s a fairly simple idea. And the idea is precisely this: danger does not come at one from every direction. Look left (assuming a country where you drive on the right), and there’s your clear and present danger. And rather interestingly, the clear and present danger only needs to look to the right to avoid being a clear and present danger, on the assumption that the proportion of homicidal maniacs in Manitoba is not unusually skewed. It’s sort of a win-win for Winnipeg, really.

    See? Not so difficult at all, with even the tiniest bit of thought. Do try to keep up with the tiniest bits of thought, Robert. Write them down on the back of a traffic ticket or similar, in the event that you cannot remember your tiny bits of thought for more than ten minutes or so.

  25. Grece says:

    Hey Robert, may I suggest a few of your next post titles?

    Oh My! Major Change In My Life….TRUMP!

    Oh My! Major Change In My Life….I’m Buying Intel!

    Oh My! Major Change In My Life….No ARM for me!

    Oh My! Major Change In My Life….Alibaba Sucks!

    and a oldie but goodie….

    Oh My! Major Change In My Life….Buying a Tesla!

  26. DrLoser wrote, “Robert, that thing about being used to “rolling through intersections?” You’re supposed to brake at them and look for oncoming traffic”.

    No. This intersection has evolved. At first there was no crossroad. Then they added one with stop-signs. So, yes, those travelling my usual route could just roll on through assuming no one did anything stupid. Now, there’s danger come at one from every direction. Fortunately, it looks like the plan is to filter out the really stupid ones with high concrete dividers, making it difficult to turn the wrong way. So we will be merging instead of waiting our turns as before. I don’t think there would be much problem if we were used to them but we’re not so there is increased danger at least temporarily. Probably 90% of the population of drivers here has never been on a roundabout like this.

  27. DrLoser says:

    A major change in the life of St Paul? Realising that you can worship another God, and still be a Jew.

    A major change to Sir Isaac Newton’s life? Being hit on the noggin by an apple and being able to turn around to the apple and tell it why it did it.

    A major change to Nelson Mandela’s life? Being let off that godforsaken island.

    A major change to Robert’s life? Finding an unexpected roundabout in his way.

    Well, I suppose that anything that keeps the blood coursing through the veins is a good thing. However, Robert, that thing about being used to “rolling through intersections?” You’re supposed to brake at them and look for oncoming traffic.

    This sort of casual misapprehension of the way the world works is unfortunately typical of everything you do, isn’t it?

  28. Ivan says:

    He’s probably stuck in the roundabout.

  29. DrLoser says:

    Good to know that Robert has no answer on this one.

  30. Ivan says:

    traffic circles solve traffic congestion

    They also cause traffic congestion, arguably more than the traffic lights they replace, but they are much better than Michigan Lefts.

  31. DrLoser says:

    Jennifer Lawrence has wrinkles?

    O, the Humanity!

    Nevertheless I still have my bucket-list. (Buckets are cheap if you buy them from China.)

    I will, I will, ride up and down Robert’s street blaring out “You can’t always get what you ask for.” Even if I have to do so on a donkey.

    I might even ask Mrs Pogson whether she’ll swap the donkey for her husband. She is a smart young lady and will probably weigh the options correctly.

    There’s probably more glue in Robert’s carcass, but on the other hand glue is cheap these days.

  32. kurkosdr says:

    If it turns out that, contrary to all expectations, I do actually own Jennifer Lawrence, please let me know. I’d be able to cash her in for substantial amounts of money,

    Moderately hot Hollywood starlets are non-transferable, as per the regulations on slave-trafficking that are in force in most nations, so even if you do own her you will not be able to liquidate her. So, there is the wrinkle in your plan.

  33. joepeatf says:

    I love traffic circles, they make less traffic, shorter commute also. But if I buy Jerry’s Solo I am scared car will roll over 🙁

    If I marry Jennifer Lawrence I will buy Solo, she will be impressed by sexy design 😉

  34. DrLoser says:

    If it turns out that, contrary to all expectations, I do actually own Jennifer Lawrence, please let me know. I’d be able to cash her in for substantial amounts of money, part of which I would obviously spend on being the third person to own an ElectraMecchanica Solo.

    Not that I want to own one as such. I’d just cruise it up and down Robert’s street whilst blaring out “You can’t always get what you ask for” on the stereo.

    Obviously I would have to buy and fit the stereo, but I’m sure I’d have enough spare cash after selling La Lawrence off to the highest bidder.

  35. DrLoser says:

    It’s been a while since I examined the Pog sidebar, and it’s time to remind us all of the absurd pointlessness, not to say dissimulation, of the links. Let’s start with the link that’s relevant to this particular discussion: Solo Owners Network. An interesting concept, that. I’ve seen communist revolutionary cell networks with more provable members than a Solo network, and classically a communist revolutionary cell is limited to three people, for obvious reasons of security. But, hovering over the link, what’s this?

    “Bulletin board of people interested in the Solo EV from ElectraMecchanica in Vancouver.”

    Hey, I’m interested in Jennifer Lawrence. But I don’t actually own her, do I?

    Incidentally, what happened to older Linux-based links such as to the site formerly known as Helios?. I might not have agreed with the contents, but at least they theoretically served a useful social purpose.

  36. DrLoser says:

    (Jeremy Clarkson voice) What could possibly go wrong?

    Continuing to speak in my Jeremy Clarkson voice (I have been accused of actually being Jeremy Clarkson):

    “Some call him … The Pog.

    “Who is The Pog? I can’t tell you that. All we know is that he has a circuit diagram licensed by ARM and tattooed on his left buttock.

    “And now for our caravan segment, in which The Pog drives a wretched little tricycle loaner into the back of a four wheeled tin hut parked across the intersection to a traffic circle in Beautiful Downtown Winnipeg.

    “Hilarity ensues!”

  37. Grece says:

    Factually, traffic circles solve traffic congestion Robert. I have seen this done countless times where I live and work. Why do you advocate against change?

  38. kurkosdr says:

    Lololol, Pog has a driving license and can’t negotiate a simple roundabout (and follow simple instructions he theoretically knew when he got his driving license). And Pog, with his mastery of driving, wants to ride a wretched little tricycle which doesn’t have any official crash-rating, no roof rigidity and no airbags.

    (Jeremy Clarkson voice) What could possibly go wrong?

  39. Grece says:

    YAWN.

    BTW, TRUMP is still in office, just a reminder.

    CHUCKLE

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