Getting around the dinky neighborhood roundabouts in the best of times is sometimes problematic. On Saturday night—with the Mariachi Festival at the Santa Barbara Bowl, a huge moving van and an outsized roundabout in a tiny intersection—it was the worst of times. At least for the surprised driver who had to cope with the immovable obstruction impeding his progress through the neighborhood. Add in parked cars, honking drivers and curious spectators trying to be helpful, and what should have been a routine turn turned out to be a daunting task.
He finally, impressively, backed the enormous truck down a full city block, turned around at Santa Barbara High, and tried it again—this time avoiding the traffic “calming” device, using streets with intersections that have conventional stop signs. But there was nothing calming about the hour-long ordeal as he finally reached his destination, just a block away from the site that caused all the commotion, but with the traffic circle, it might as well have been a hundred.