In the busy College Boulevard corridor of Overland Park, many drivers use Glenwood Street to reach College from businesses on the north side of that street. Among them is Peggy Newham, who works at a financial services firm in the area.
Her wish is for a right-turn-only lane for southbound drivers on Glenwood.
“Many of us who need to turn right onto College are seriously delayed because we cannot make a right turn on red because of a vehicle in front of the line who wants to go straight,” she said.
“The red light for Glenwood is a pretty long one, so there we all sit, even when College traffic is clear enough for a number of right turns. More people turn right from this southbound lane than go straight, so it seems like the pavement markings could recognize this and set us up for some efficiency.”
She suggests that the left southbound lane, now reserved for left turns, be marked for drivers going straight as well.
If Capt. Jean-Luc Picard can say “Make it so” in the “Star Trek” world, then Brian Shields can do the same at Glenwood Street and College Boulevard.
Shields, Overland Park’s traffic engineer, said the city studied the intersection and found that over seven hours covering the morning, lunchtime and afternoon peak periods, 201 southbound drivers turned left, 194 went straight and 224 turned right, with 125 of those doing so on red.
Several problems could prevent the USS Overland Park from rejiggering traffic as Peggy suggests, but none was at play here because:
• Northbound and southbound traffic do not move at the same time, there is no danger of left-turners getting stuck behind traffic going straight and really messing things up.
• The proposed change would not cause drivers to hit a median or make a sudden lane shift.
• The left turn/through lane would not back up badly enough to keep motorists such as Peggy from even entering the new right-turn lane.
Nothing can change until the weather warms up, but Shields and his colleagues will “make it so.”
The Watchdog, always aspiring to mediocrity, likes to say, “Make it so-so.”
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