by David Koon
North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays and other dignitaries were on hand Friday morning for a ribbon cutting to open the new North Little Rock roundabout (or should that be "traffic circle"?) at the intersection of Pike Ave., Riverfront Drive and Broadway. It's a project that cost in the $2 million range.
Signage is thick around the new traffic island, including a large sign reminding drivers that traffic is supposed to flow counterclockwise.
Wouldn't you know it? Moments before the big dedication, the directional sign went unheeded by at least one motorist, as seen in the video clip. Though there are other roundabouts in Arkansas, this is apparently the first one with two lanes around the central hub instead of only one. European-style. CORRECTION: Readers inform us that sophisticated Conway beat North Little Rock to the two-lane roundabout. And another reader reports one on Wellington Hills in Little Rock, off Chenal.
Speculation on how drivers will fare against the unfamiliar design was a frequent topic of conversation at the ribbon cutting, including one reflective-vest wearing worker we talked to who said that he told his boss he wanted to invest in a nearby lot. "I'm gonna open up a roundabout wrecker service," the young fella said. "You could probably stay busy."