As if the crop circles weren’t puzzling enough!
Drivers on the Isle of Man are being baffled by a new roundabout comprised of a series of concentric ovals in the middle of the British Crown dependency’s capital of Douglas.
The feature doesn’t have a physical island or clearly defined lanes and locals aren’t sure what to make of it.
“It makes no sense to me, why not just put a regular roundabout in there? It’s just confusing for everyone,” islander Craig Goffin told SWNS.
It replaces a triangular intersection on the seaside promenade. The lines are meant as a visual indicator to slow down and drivers are expected to drive generally around the inner oval in a clockwise direction.
“I’m at a loss as to who thought this was a good idea, you can see the gradient from certain angles and not from others,” Julie Charlton wrote on Facebook. “This design is for pages in a ‘mind puzzle’ book… shocking!”
“The Department of Infrastructure would like to reassure motorists that the two roundels being installed… are to be driven in the same way as any other roundabout,” the department stated in a press release.
The department described it as a roundel, and noted that it is located in a 20 mph zone and that similar designs have been used in other cities as traffic calming features. However, they are often designated with paving stones, but Douglas used the painted lines as a money-saving measure.
The city of Poynton outside of Manchester has employed roundels as part of a larger shared-space road management project, where cars and pedestrians are expected to co-exist on largely unmarked roads.
The Douglas roundel is only currently open between two of the three intersecting roads, but is scheduled to fully open to traffic on July 15. A second one is planned to be installed nearby.
“I feel, once the overall area is complete, motorists will soon get used to them,” Infrastructure Minister Tim Baker said.
The rural Isle of Man is famous for not having a national speed limit outside of its towns and is host of annual motorcycle races on its public roads that have claimed the lives of 259 people over the years.
The 2020 and 2021 events were canceled due to coronavirus-related restrictions.