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Some Bus Drivers Feel Out Of Loop With N.C. State's New Roundabout

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Road engineers say roundabouts or traffic circles are the congestion-clearing wave of the future. Many drivers who have navigated the brand new roundabout at N.C. State say it is confusing and potentially dangerous, and one group of drivers claim they feel caught in the loop.

Some of the loudest complaints about the roundabout on Pullen Road at N.C. State have come from Wolfline bus drivers. For them, it is a slow, tight, curb-popping squeeze every trip through. One bus recently had an unplanned meeting with an orange construction barrel.

"It'll be pretty, but it sure doesn't do much for traffic," said one bus driver. "It's supposed to be put here to help the traffic out and all it's basically doing is making it worse. I think they could have spent the money somewhere else."

Supporters of the roundabout say to give it time. The project will be finished in a few weeks.

"Well, the first thing is it's not finished yet," said David Stein, of the N.C. State College of Design. "It hasn't been completely paved. The barrels are still in the way and Yes, it makes the curves tight for the buses, but overall, I think it has made the traffic run smoother."

Aside from the Pullen Road roundabout, engineers have plans for 11 more traffic cicles in the N.C. State/Hillsborough Street corridor.