What does “Circle” mean?

Today, there was a car accident out on the main road near our house. The accident took out a utility pole, including downed wires. I do not know the state of the driver, but I sincerely hope he was not badly injured, or that he was treated quickly and successfully.

In any case, the accident caused the main road to be closed. PennDOT closed the road with a piece of red tape stretched across the road. Earlier in the day, a ROAD CLOSED sign was in front of the tape, but later the sign was removed. Cars approaching from the south had to turn onto the side road to leads to our cul-de-sac, a street with the name “Circle” posted on a street sign on the side road.

So what seemed like a nearly endless stream of cars came into our circle, turned around and went back out. I know they were trying to find a way around the block to get around the accident site and back to the main road. But seriously? If you see a street named “So And So Circle”, would you guess it is a through street?

Usually a street named “Something Court” and sometimes “Something Terrace” are not through streets. But “Circle”? Pretty much guaranteed not to get you out.

So I went out to the side road, and put up a sawhorse with a hand-lettered “Detour” sign with an arrow on it, showing motorists the way down the side road so they could get around the block. This slowed down the traffic in the circle a little, but didn’t stop it all together.

I realize that when you are driving down the road and something unusual happens, it throws off your concentration a bit. But when did we become a people who just stopped thinking for ourselves? We learned in Kindergarten what a circle is – a hoop with no openings. Does “Something Circle” sound like a street that will get you around the block?

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