Monthly Archives: June 2011

Right turn lane on Sedgwick at 16 still a no-go

The in basket: Bill Slach says, “On westbound Sedgwick (Road) at the light where you turn right onto Highway 16, there is a lot of room on the right side and folks repeatedly make illegal right turns by crossing the fog line. Isn’t there enough room there for a turn lane?

“The shoulder areas vary widely in width,” he said. “The south side could be made narrower as well as the north side to give enough room to make a turn lane,” he proposed.

“This wouldn’t be a costly fix – some paint ought to do it.

The middle area of the road created by the center merge lane could be narrowed by a foot or so and give enough room to create a turn lane,” he said. “As it is, folks now cross the line on the right by only a little when cars stopped at the light give them room.

“Foot traffic and pedestrians?” he asked, recalling the state’s reason a right turn lane couldn’t just be carved out of the shoulder. “Where are they? The ones I see are on the south side of the highway since they are going to the gas station or McDonalds.

The out basket: Though there are places all over the county where drivers routinely commit the violation of crossing the edge line in their right turns, this is the only place I’ve been asked about it. In 2007, a suggestion was made that the edge line be erased for a distance to make those right turns legal. The answer then was no, that would jeopardize bicyclists and pedestrians.

The answer is still no, says Steve Bennett, the traffic operations engineer for this region. “We continue to believe that it is necessary to widen Highway 160 (Sedgwick) in order to safely provide the space for the right-turn lane.

“Without widening we would have to remove the acceleration pocket used by traffic turning onto the highway from Bravo Terrace. We feel that collisions may increase at the intersection of Bravo Terrace without this refuge/acceleration pocket.”

Well, that’s a sure bet. Getting onto westbound Sedgwick from Bravo Terrace, which serves a motel, McDonalds, Shari’s, Dairy Queen and others, is scary enough without losing the refuge lane a left turner can use.