When I was in Boston nearly 30 years ago, I met my first roundabout. Now there are at least four of them in Fort Wayne. (I think there were a couple on the southwest side of town that were only around for a couple of years).
A roundabout helps keep traffic moving by replacing an intersection with a circle. The former makes everyone stop. The latter makes people slow down, yield, and then move into the circle. You exit the circle on the road that takes you where you want to go. You can keep circling while you decide. You can go back the way you came without making a difficult u-turn. You don’t have to wait forever to make a left turn across traffic because you can move in and out of the circle.
I like roundabouts. I love the idea that you can keep circling forever. I love the idea that I don’t have to make a left turn. I love the idea of a solution to traffic flow that looks different.
You are going to be involved in laying out some roads this week. You are going to create intersection points for people in your life. You are going to say something to a child which requires them to make a decision. You are going to present a client with a couple of options. You are in a relationship which is at a crossroads.
Before you create an old-fashioned intersection which forces stops and starts, which runs at right angles, which doesn’t keep things moving, consider a roundabout. How can you allow more that one vehicle into the intersection at a time? How can you allow people to circle for a moment while they find the street that they want? How can you allow everyone involved to have some discretion?
Sometimes we have to be crisply decisive. Often, however, we can have flexibilty and graciousness.
Have a great week.