Csíkszereda Musings

My life in and around Csíkszereda, also known as Miercurea Ciuc.

In a round about way

Posted by Andy Hockley on 14 December, 2007

When I arrived in Romania, which is not that long ago let’s face it, there was, to my knowledge, not a single roundabout in the country. At least I never encountered one. However, in some kind of apparent desperate EU inspired anglophilia, they have been appearing everywhere. I can only imagine that all of Romania’s mayors were taken to England on some kind of junket, and introduced to the smooth and sensible traffic flow of the humble roundabout. And maybe offered EU funds to install roundabouts wherever they could. Now, in Csíkszereda alone there are 5 of them, and I’m guessing more will come. There are even roundabouts where none seem necessary – indeed a couple I’ve seen (in Sinaia and Cluj) seem designed to merely slow the traffic down, like a particularly elaborate and expensive sleeping policeman.

There is still some way to go before the cult of the roundabout reaches English proportions (anyone doubting their ubiquity in the UK ought to drive the ten miles from Luton Airport to Hitchin, whence one spends more time circling a central island than one does actually driving in a straight line).

Maybe this is something to do with me. My last residence, Brattleboro, Vermont, USA installed one while I was there too, much to everyone’s confusion. Am I the vector carrying these roundabouts, like some kind of virus? Where else have I infected?

I have to say though, that the locals here have adapted much faster to these alien traffic moderators that Vermonters did, where for months and years afterwards, the benefits of the roundabout as a traffic flow system were outweighed by the utter chaos that accompanied its existence. Indicating seems to present a particular challenge to the unwary driver – especially the need to indicate left when one’s first turn is to the right.

Still, it’s a rum do. I’d love to know what was the spur for this mushrooming of the roundabout.

One Response to “In a round about way”

  1. Angus said

    Hitchin? That’s where I grew up!

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