Some places they are known as call traffic circles, some call them roundabouts, here in New England, they are rotaries. Usually, rotaries are used to manage traffic when multiple streets converge, usually when there are more than two streets intersecting. Otherwise, a standard intersection is used. They seem to be especially popular in New England, maybe because so many of the streets here were originally cow paths, or maybe since there’s very few areas with a grid based street plan here. So most of the towns have a tangle of streets, many of which eventually converge into spaghetti knots which are sorted out by putting in a rotary.
Sometimes rotaries work, but they seem to mostly create more problems than they solve. The Boston area is notorious for some of the most confusing rotaries, such as on Storrow Drive. The rotaries leading to Cape Cod have created some legendary traffic jams, sometimes up to three miles long
But here in the delightful city of Nashua, New Hampshire, we have the Mystery Rotary. This is a rotary that has no intersecting streets to manage, it is not on a busy street, in fact it is a short street in a quiet part of town that leads mainly to a commuter bus station.
In the center of the rotary is a boulder, on which someone has spray painted a large red question mark. This is what I now call the “Mystery Rotary”.
Since it was most likely not set up to control traffic, my theory is that it is there to solve your problems, with the ‘Mystery Rock’ being a conduit for the resolution for what is troubling you.
If you have a question, you should drive around the rotary three times. If the answer does not come to you, then you should go home and try again tomorrow.
‘Let’s go around again!” Says Mr. C.
Might be hard to see, but here’s a close up:
As we drive around it, I am always reminded of the song ‘English Roundabout’ released way back in 1982 by XTC, based on a real rotary in Swindon, England.