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Editorial: Round and round and round

To just slightly paraphrase the old Ted Mack Amateur Hour, “Round and round and round it goes, and where it stops no one knows.”

Those words were ritual in the early days of television, repeated every week when the order of contestant appearances on Mack’s talent show was determined by a spinning wheel.

The refrain came to mind last week while watching mystified motorists trying to make sense of roundabout protocol in the new traffic circle being installed on Arnold Drive.

The roundabout is now round, with painted traffic lanes, but the circle itself is mostly a hole in the ground awaiting a curb, landscaping and hopefully some sort of monument to Hap Arnold, the five-star general who founded the Army Air Corps, retired to Sonoma and was subsequently honored with his name on one of the Valley’s two principal thoroughfares.

Hap Arnold the pilot might have enjoyed an aerial view of confused motorists hesitating to enter the roundabout, pausing at one of the entry points as if timidly approaching a spinning carousel. Last week, some novice roundabout drivers turned into the circle and then made a complete stop as other cars entered ahead of them. One driver was witnessed stopping and starting at each of the four entrances before driving back the way she had come.

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