Is our roundabout the ugliest in the country?

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blankSomeone called our roundabout a son-in-law roundabout: Okay, but not what you were expecting. I have a great son-in-law, in case you were wondering. I’m a big believer in roundabouts, mainly because I don’t like stop lights, or stop signs for that matter.

There are several roundabouts in Ripon, where I spend a lot of Saturdays watching soccer, basketball, baseball, football and gymnastic events. The roundabouts in Ripon are huge and one sits right by a nut processing plant on the way to my grandchildren’s home. I always marvel at how well it works and the ease with which semi’s pass through it. It is at least twice the size of ours.

The Ripon roundabouts have been there for years, with established landscaping and limited signage. Our roundabout is brand new, no landscaping and more signs than a televised football game. The city blames the signage on Cal Trans, and Cal Trans can blame traffic safety, but either way, we have the ugliest roundabout in America, if not the world.

The roundabouts in Ripon have one yield sign and one roundabout logo with arrows at each entry point. We have more than 16 signs and they aren’t pretty or functional. Someone drove right past the flashing lights and signs, almost hit the light post, went over the curb into the unfinished landscaping (mud), over the sidewalk and through Mariani’s parking lot. There are rumors that there is a camera at the roundabout, and it would be interesting to see who did the deed. I’m sure the driver was sober, too.

I like to compare Winters to Ripon, because there are things that we do extremely well and things that Ripon does extremely well. Ripon was about Winters’ size 20 years ago and how has about 17,000 residents. We can learn from cities that do things right or wrong and I would hope that cities can learn a few things from Winters as well.

The entrances to cities says a lot about them and ours could use a facelift. The only landscaping coming into town is new developments. The new Starbucks is looking good, as is the PG&E facility. We can only hope that the new buildings at the high school come with landscaping and the idea will spread throughout the school district. If their maintenance facility on Grant Avenue is any indication of how they value landscaping, we are in for more dirt, gravel and concrete.

Have a good week.

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