The Bane of My Evening Commute

This whole area is a mess. The road designs, the drivers, everything. Come and share in my missouriery:

In isolation, none of the following problems are that bad, but consider that everything that follows is occurring in a span of <500 feet. Enter from 1, heading East. On an average day, traffic tends to back up towards the two medians by #1. Westbound traffic flows freely at 40 MPH. That is unless one of the semi-regular police traffic stops is occurring at #1.

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Next, add in the drivers wanting make left turns to/from the roads and driveways marked with a 2 and a small crest between 4 and 5. Turns out that crossing both fast and slow lanes with below-average visibility lends itself to a fair amount of conflict and blockage. People driving forward through all of the left turn lane segments between 1 and 5 further complicates matters. However, the real trouble starts at #3...

For starters, that addendum below the stop sign might as well not exist. People will force their left turns through whatever gap they can find in the stopped rush hour traffic and create more issues than all of those #2 spots combined. I can almost sympathize though, since those who follow the rules and turn right are still in for a bad time on account of the rightmost lane usually being the only one open to them.

Now at #4, the problem becomes the right lane’s abrupt switch to right turn only.  There are markings on the road to announce this, but they’re frequently obscured by traffic. Good thing there’s a sign too, right? Oh, wait...

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E N H A N C E

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The one and only sign for these lanes is less than 50 feet from the intersection with additional visual obstructions as you approach, so good luck if you weren’t in the appropriate lane several hundred feet ago or made the mistake of entering from #3.

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Naturally, this leads to someone getting caught out in the right lane every few light cycles. More often than not, they’ll just sit there and block right-turning traffic until they force their way forward through the intersection anyway. Awesome.

Finally, because someone apparently wanted those in the left lane to suffer a bit too, the traffic signals have recently undergone the following change:

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You can kinda see the left one here behind the rogue filing cabinet. What was once directly ahead of the left lane is now all the way off to the left of the intersection.

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With the left side’s lights even less in-line with their lane than the right side’s lights, many drivers will sit through all or part of their dedicated left turn time staring at the wrong signal. You’d think that people further back in line would honk, but that contingency frequently fails as well, likely on account of the light being directly in line with most A-pillars. Even when people do honk, the driver up front will still take a few moments to realize they’ve been staring in the wrong place this whole time and then a few more to parse the frequently-appearing solid red + green left arrow combination (since it too has to cover forward-moving traffic).

So yeah, fun times all around. At least there’s some stress relief just a few miles further down the road...

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