Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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emergency roundabouts

for when the traffic lights fail at large junctions
  (+35, -1)(+35, -1)(+35, -1)
(+35, -1)
  [vote for,
against]

it's the work of 5 minutes to plop down an appropriately sized foam disc in the middle of the madness so that the traffic continues to flow.
po, Jan 03 2009

An idiot's guide to roundabouts http://www.beneboy....ndabouts/index.html
UK rules; flip for US. [jutta, Jan 03 2009]

24 hours from Tulsa http://www.youtube....watch?v=hkYRPumSU_8
It would take less time if it weren't for all the red lights. [jaksplat, Jan 06 2009, last modified May 01 2011]

An emergency roundabout http://www.amazon.c...NETIC/dp/B0014S3DHY
This is what I think they should look like. [Jinbish, Jan 07 2009]

here's what I think it should look like... http://www.simpsons...mpson-wallpaper.htm
[xandram, Jan 08 2009]

traffic circles vs roundabouts http://www.alaskaro....com/mythfact1.html
[jaksplat, Aug 01 2009]

[link]






       ....have you seen the average motorist trying to negotiate a roundabout? I've had 5-minute arguments with cretins, just trying to explain how and when to indicate on a roundabout.
Custardguts, Jan 03 2009
  

       Many people in the states, including, regrettably, myself, have never seen a roundabout in person.
Spacecoyote, Jan 03 2009
  

       they're not people.
po, Jan 03 2009
  

       it just sounded wrong.
po, Jan 03 2009
  

       The first time I ever went to London I slept in the middle of a roundabout.... it had trees and other shrubs in it. Up around Finchley I believe. + for this idea as long as said foam disc can be modelled to look like a giant sink plug, complete with short length of chain.
xenzag, Jan 03 2009
  

       Brilliant! Roundabouts tend to work better than lights anyway.
wagster, Jan 03 2009
  

       //they're not people//   

       Those humanoid robots really do get around.
Spacecoyote, Jan 03 2009
  

       Definately. I imagine that the traffic flow wouldn't be perfect as mini-roundabouts can't handle all that much traffic, but much better than complete chaos. It probably should be helicoptered in. [+]
MadnessInMyMethod, Jan 04 2009
  

       So that Dougal and Florence...no, wait.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jan 04 2009
  

       Somebody deletized my comment that this was a good idea...
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 04 2009
  

       Oops. Well, that's neuropharmacology for you. Anyway, I think it's a good idea.   

       [EDIT] EEK! Either somebody else deleted their comment that my supposedly deleted comment wasn't there in the first place, or I seriously need to check my prescription. Either that or I should check my prescription.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 04 2009
  

       Not long ago, the city where I live was struck by a hurricane. Traffic lights were out for weeks. Strangely, traffic at many intersections seemed to move faster. The intersection where a four-lane road crossed a twelve-lane highway was interesting driving, but most people yielded when they were supposed to and traffic kept moving. So...traffic lights are only slightly helpful?
sninctown, Jan 04 2009
  

       Roundabouts where i live are breeding, i swear they are...
superjohn, Jan 04 2009
  

       [snictown], at a guess the problem may have been that people yielded when they were supposed to. Many/most sets of lights are mainly there to let traffic out of side streets. Without them the traffic on the main road flows perfectly, but the side streets get blocked up as no one lets the cars out. If this didn't happen, then your road system must be very good, and perhaps your council should start demolishing lights.   

       I like the airbag option
MadnessInMyMethod, Jan 05 2009
  

       We have them in Massachusetts, but they are called *rotaries*. They put some over the border in New Hampshire and OMG, do those people need lessons!! Maybe we could get one of these for them to practice with!! +
xandram, Jan 05 2009
  

       They put one of these in the center of a small town near here. Works great.   

       [sninctown] It was the same way in New Orleans after the storm. Of course, no one here paid any attention to traffic lights before ...   

       bun on the idea, btw +
nomocrow, Jan 05 2009
  

       We actually have two roundabouts here in Tulsa. We call them traffic circles.
jaksplat, Jan 05 2009
  

       I learned to call them *roundabouts* when I was in Jamaica as a teenager. I think that is the best name for them!
xandram, Jan 06 2009
  

       Good idea [po]!
theleopard, Jan 06 2009
  

       //We actually have two roundabouts here in Tulsa//   

       Was that why Gene Pitney got held up?
wagster, Jan 06 2009
  

       I was thinking about that!
po, Jan 06 2009
  

       Link
jaksplat, Jan 06 2009
  

       //an appropriately sized foam disc in the middle of the madness so that the traffic continues to flow.//   

       I'd go for a gonflabled, anyone can join in garden swimming pool bang in the center of the junction. +
skinflaps, Jan 06 2009
  

       What kind of foam disc is being referred to? I'd like to give you your croissant [po] but just explain it to me.
phundug, Jan 06 2009
  

       that white polystyrene stuff that prevents damage to your neat stuff in transit.   

       flaps, I so nearly suggested inflatables.   

       thanks for the link, [jaksplat]
po, Jan 06 2009
  

       A huge Styrofoam packing peanut? Where in the roundabout does it go and how does it help?
phundug, Jan 06 2009
  

       A modest proposal. Instead of a foam thing, use Morris dancers. It said in today's Times that Morris dancers are dying out.   

       Let troupes of Morris dancers be re-established in every village, hamlet and district. In the event that there is a traffic light failure, the nearest troupe is dispatched to perform in the middle of the intersection. This not only creates a highly visible structure around which to drive, but also gives the Morris dancers a sense of purpose.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 06 2009
  

       //use Morris dancers.//   

       Yay, place them in a paddling pool where the around and about is.
skinflaps, Jan 06 2009
  

       I'm glad morris dancers are dying out - they embarrass me, the pervy twits.
po, Jan 06 2009
  

       They speak very highly of you, po.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 06 2009
  

       Bun+ Ingenious! It may have to be of an "overbout" design, and made a little less destructable for the larger lorries though.
silverstormer, Jan 06 2009
  

       [Maxwell], that's a stroke of genius. The dancers would love to be on standby for that. You should post that as a separate idea.   

       Oh, and your prescription is ready.
normzone, Jan 06 2009
  

       [snictown] I too have noticed this. There is a big roundabout on my way to work controlled by traffic lights. Normally there are long, slow moving queues from a couple of directions but guess what? When the lights are out of service, everyone drives over it easily and the queues are gone. It appears these lights only hinder the flow of traffic.
Bad Jim, Jan 06 2009
  

       //said in today's Times that Morris dancers are dying out.//
Perhaps there is a God after all.
coprocephalous, Jan 07 2009
  

       re: the flickr picture   

       if the lights failed at the junction that I am thinking about - you'd hardly register that little thing.
po, Jan 07 2009
  

       [po] It looks like it started off as a proper bollard, and just got eroded by weight of traffic.
coprocephalous, Jan 07 2009
  

       granted but even a bollard would probably cause more havoc. where's DrBob, he's usually good for talking bollards?
po, Jan 07 2009
  

       [Cue pantomime entrance. There is a loud bang, a flash and a cloud of smoke. DrBob then emerges through an obvious trapdoor in the floor]

DrBob: "I am the genius of the streetlamp ([aside to audience] although the lamp is actually the bit at the top with the light in and the tall pole that it's attached to is a street lighting column) and I grant you three...oh, it's you again! What do you want this time?"
DrBob, Jan 07 2009
  

       is another wish out of the question?
po, Jan 07 2009
  

       Roundabouts were introduced in our city a few years ago. It took a while for drivers to figure out how they work, and there was a big public education campaign on the radio & brochures mailed out to all residents to help with that. The result has been absolutely positive - traffic flows faster, and collisions have been all but eliminated! I think one reason roundabouts reduce collisions is is that people at a roundabout actually have to pay attention to the cars around them, instead of being focused on a coloured light.   

       There have been several case studies that show that people drive better and get to their destinations faster when there are no traffic signals.   

       I agree with bigsleep, they should deploy automatically like an airbag when the power cuts out.
gonzola, Jan 07 2009
  

       //is another wish out of the question?//

Yes, but I have this handful of seemingly ordinary beans that you can have instead.
DrBob, Jan 07 2009
  

       swap you for the cow   

       mind how you navigate the roundabout with it though.
po, Jan 07 2009
  

       If it is so 'emergency' I propose that the roundabout be a giant blue or amber flashing light. {link}
Jinbish, Jan 07 2009
  

       Or they could just implement backup power for the lights.
Spacecoyote, Jan 08 2009
  

       /Given that my hair was already brushing the roof of the car/   

       <pictures [UB] as a short man with a massive afro>
Texticle, Jan 09 2009
  

       *Imagines a brush coming out of UB's hair a brushing a furry headliner*
Spacecoyote, Jan 09 2009
  

       Strange. Since I read UnaBubba talking about feeling //the smack on the crown// I was wondering if he'd sacked his chauffeur?
silverstormer, Jan 09 2009
  

       or his queen?
po, Jan 09 2009
  

       Brian May would never stand for it.
silverstormer, Jan 09 2009
  

       Anything made of inflatable plastic is quite likely to get run over by a large truck (semi) and anything made of morris dancers is almost certain to get run over by a large truck (semi).
mecotterill, Apr 01 2009
  

       wow... just... wow! [+]
FlyingToaster, Apr 01 2009
  

       [+] Something similar is definitely needed in my city. There's an intersection near where I live that frequently has faulty lights - it's a highway off ramp (one way, obviously) that intersects with a busy road with traffic in both directions. As someone coming off the highway, you may be stuck there forever because those coming from your right (we drive on the left here) don't need to yield to anyone and would therefore always have right of way. Any solutions welcome as the idea may very well be bakeable here.
shudderprose, Aug 01 2009
  

       where's here?
po, Aug 01 2009
  

       Durban
shudderprose, Aug 01 2009
  

       ah, interesting.   

       btw whoever wrote about indicating in [jutta]'s link is describing not a roundabout but a junction with a green spot in the middle.
po, Aug 01 2009
  
      
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