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First take

When I left Idaho in 2004 there were – so far as I can recall – no traffic roundabouts anywhere in the state. Washington had a lot of them, especially in suburban areas off I-5 (Olympia long had had one at a lake crossing), and Oregon had some scattered around (there’s been one on the west side of Astoria for many years). The picture here shows one at Hillsboro, Oregon, that’s been around a while. But in the years since, Idaho has been building a number of them, and the Idaho Statesman even highlighted that on the front page today, noting the first one in Nampa in 2006 and another this summer at Boise, in the ParkCenter area. My sense of them is that they’re a little confusing at first but, once you get the hang of them, slow traffic a little, force cooperation and probably are safer than most other intersections. Like the song said, “Call it morning driving thru the sound and in and out the valley …” – rs

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