Column: Columnist in a roundabout way

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Commentary by Bill Shaffer

As an official non-mayor of Carmel, I have been surprised at the response to my letters to the editor of Current in Carmel over the last several months.

Despite the response, I am now writing a column. You’ll just have to forgive me.

Why a column? Simple and modest. To bring matters of cosmic importance to my fellow non-mayors, the Carmelists and Carmelistas.

For example: One rationale for roundabouts City Hall keeps merchandising is the saving of us all from accidents, especially injury accidents, the latter having fallen 60 to 70 percent since 1996 BR (Before Roundabouts).

I did the math – year, population, number of injury accidents and number of all accidents. Then, I calculated the rate per 1,000 persons.

In 22 years, the injury accident rate went from 6.8 to 2.7, or a drop of 64.7 percent.

However, the total accident rate increased from 23.7 to 25.3, or a 3.5 percent increase.

Nationally, you might want to know, both injury accidents and total accidents declined 25 percent.

Conclusion: Roundabouts could have caused a 40 percent drop in injury accidents. Good. They also could have caused a 28 percent increase in accidents in general. Bad.

You decide.

Since the biggest drop in injury accidents occurred before our 75th roundabout was built, we’ve spent a lot subsidizing non-injury accidents, in my humble but deucedly spot-on judgment.

Oh, one more thing. Each column will contain a heartfelt plea for feedback.

Let me know what you think at news@currentincarmel.com.

Bill Shaffer is a Carmel resident and self-proclaimed official non-mayor of the city. He can be reached at news@currentincarmel.com.


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