To the editor:
"If it's not broken, don't fix it" is a catchy phrase (letter, the Times, Friday, April 13), but not always true when it comes to new ideas, open minds, innovation, and a willingness to make changes for the common good.
A roundabout at the Five Corners intersection in Rockport meets the traffic recommendations of state and federal traffic agencies to improve capacity, reduce vehicle and pedestrian conflicts, and enhance the beauty of our town's entry point.
There have been 20 constructed in New Hampshire recently and a very nice one on Nantucket. They are literally everywhere in other states and in Europe with great success and public approval.
It appears to me that a trial could be conducted by temporarily removing the planted island on Parker Street, exchanging stop signs for yield signs, and installing a temporary centerpiece that could be as simple as orange traffic barrels, with mounted roundabout signs.
We know that everything is expensive today, but certainly not the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Ms. Hayes scares us with in her letter.
Also, her assertion that the trial would be inconvenient for elders is absurd at best, since roundabouts slow down traffic and improve pedestrian safety. I know from personal experience that crossing Broadway to get to the Community House can be very difficult.
I don't know when Ms. Hayes transits Five Corners, but we are often compelled to sit in long lines on Railroad Avenue, waiting for "right of way traffic" on upper Main Street and Broadway to abate.
The blind corner at Main, entering Five Corners would be improved. Just think how nice it would be to not stop, just yield to roundabout traffic and go on your merry way.
If it works, and the townspeople approve, then it would be nice to subscribe money to build a permanent approved centerpiece, and ask the Garden Club to plant a suitable "Welcome to Rockport" garden.
Undoubtedly, there would be backups due to overload, but brief in nature, and better than our present situation.
We can do very little to improve other bad Rockport intersections like High and Main Street, or the transfer station exit, but we certainly should study a five corners roundabout.
Remember it is not a rotary, it's a circular intersection called a roundabout.