This is Without a Doubt the Dumbest Feature in Maine and New Hampshire
Go ahead. Do it. Show me one person that actually finds benefit in having these spread throughout Northern New England. If you show me one person then I'll completely eat crow on this, but I'd be hard pressed to find someone who legitimately thinks these are helpful.
Are they rotaries, roundabouts, or traffic circles?
First things first -- you want to experience an identity crisis? Try and figure out the proper name for these circular traffic patterns. It may be a geographical thing, but I've heard them referenced as rotaries, as roundabouts, and as traffic circles.
I've also heard them referenced as some explicit names that aren't suitable for this article, but you get the idea. There actually is apparently a difference, though. According to the NHDOT, roundabouts are smaller versions of traffic circles, which creates a safer and slower driving experience. Oh, and according to the Maine DOT, it's apparently traffic calming, too.
If you took a shot for every single time you entered a rotary/roundabout/traffic circle and either heard a horn honk or saw a middle finger fly out a window, you'd need your stomach pumped within five minutes.
Does the Department of Transportation in either state, or any state for that matter, even believe the information they put in their brochures? Seriously? Traffic CALMING? If you took a shot for every single time you entered a rotary/roundabout/traffic circle and either heard a horn honk or saw a middle finger fly out a window, you'd need your stomach pumped within five minutes.
How to use a roundabout
The City of Ottawa developed an under-two-minute video on how to use a roundabout, complete with nifty little dance music. It's worth a watch, if but nothing for eyerolling entertainment.
That'd be helpful if it actually came close to looking realistic, but name me one time where, unless it's late night or super early morning, only one car at a time is approaching any part of a rotary/roundabout/traffic circle. Because it's never like that, and the proof is in the live stream below in the Derry Traffic Circle in Derry, New Hampshire.
Defensive driving doesn't work in most of New England, especially through traffic circles!
THAT'S what a roundabout ACTUALLY looks like. Full of cars driven by impatient, aggressive drivers. And the thing is, it's not even completely they're fault. In reality and not City of Ottawa instructional videos, if you ever want to get to Point B from Point A and a traffic circle is along the way, you have to be an offensive driver. Defensive driving doesn't work in most of New England, especially through traffic circles!
But the thing is, drivers just tend to do stupid things while either trying to enter the circle or while already in the middle of it. In fact, just this past weekend in that very circle, a car I was behind through the circle came to a dead-stop jam of the brakes for zero reason. No one else was trying to enter, no one was doing a slow creep to try and merge -- NOTHING.
It's situations like that that don't make rotaries/roundabouts/traffic circles safe or traffic calming, it makes them dangerous areas to be in and proves that they are the dumbest features in Maine, New Hampshire, and the rest of Northern (and either Southern) New England.