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Le Rond-point

On the Quebec side of the Ottawa River they've extended the Boulevard des Allumettieres (the old McConnell-Laramée boulevard/boulevard de l'Outaouais) so that it's possible for us to travel from Aylmer to the Interprovincial Bridge and over the river to Ottawa. We often return home along this route when we've been to the Byward Market for lunch or dinner.

There's one disconcerting feature associated with this roadway - a series of 4 "rond-points" or roundabouts (I guess that would make for 4 disconcerting features). Maryse and I always comment on how dangerous these roundabouts are, each one an intersection of 2 crossing streets. The problem is twofold: a) a distinct lack of respect for who has the right of way, and b) unexpected right turns from drivers in the inside left lane. You really are taking your life in your hands as you navigate through a "rond-point" and one has to drive very defensively.

We travelled this route last night after dinner in the Market with a friend and ironically enough yesterday afternoon I came across an article about roundabouts on the web. What I read and saw made me thankful we didn't have roundabouts here like elsewhere in the world...

Here's what traffic circulation looks like around the Arc de Triumph (Place Charles de Gaulle) in Paris...

Here's a British highway sign advising drivers they're approaching a roundabout... Note there's 5 "mini" roundabouts within a larger one...

There are three intersections like this in UK: in Swindon, Hemel and in Cardiff.
An overhead shot gives you a better idea of how confusing it would be to attempt to drive through this roundabout...
See exactly how it works here and here. A cheat sheet "how to get out" is more helpful:

Obviously, the photos above couldn't have been taken during rush hour. I think the one below was, though...

Book: Memoirs by Brian Mulroney (140 pages to go!)

Music: Fragile ("Roundabout" - natch!) by Yes

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