Although the idea of trying to incorporate cyclist on the roads in the greater Columbus area sounds great, the people who put together the plan to change the traffic patterns on Tamarack Circle did a horrible job at explaining the new road lanes.
Recently, there have been major changes that allow a safer way for pedestrians, cyclist and drivers to maneuver around the circle located on the north side of Columbus, Ohio. As I sat in my car parked in one of the many vacant parking areas inside the circle, I was amazed that no car accidents had occurred, when a little less than a year ago car accidents, mostly minor fender-benders, were a constant headache when taking the circle route to get around town.
It is normal for construction workers to draw the lane lines after they lay pavement down on the ground. And that is exactly what happened, but when the city decided to put new pavement down in the circle, they also decided to change the whole layout of the lanes.
Before, the circle was two lanes that went in one direction. Now the circle has one lane designated for drivers, a smaller lane in the middle for bicyclist, and lane on the outer part for parking.
The layout of the circle makes sense now, but for the longest time I witnessed numerous amounts of car accidents. The city planners who put this change together had good intentions and the outcome was great, but the road getting to the outcome was not so clean-cut.
- There were no signs posted up saying which lanes were which.
- Drivers were confused as to which lane it is that they should drive in.
- I witnessed a motorcycle driving in the bicycle lane.
If I were a part of the planning committee, I would have made the suggestion that the signs are posted as soon as the construction workers finished repaving the streets and marking each lane. I think that a lot of confusion and more car accidents would have been avoided.
After further investigation I have concluded that the lack of communication of the lane changes lead to:
Misunderstandings + Confusion = Car accidents.
I could not help but to think that if they had someone with a communications degree the signs would have been one of the first things posted, and not the last.