Paula Stockton finds the traffic pattern mighty confusing where U.S. 40 and Sni-A-Bar Drive meet in the eastern Jackson County community of Grain Valley.
Why, she wants to know, do some eastbound drivers on U.S. 40 have to yield to oncoming traffic turning south onto Sni-A-Bar? It’s counterintuitive to Stockton, who has seen drivers narrowly avoid accidents there.
Moreoever, she said, drivers turning right are never sure whether those left-turners will proceed or wait for vehicles continuing east on U.S. 40.
“You shouldn’t have to look in your rearview mirror to know whether you can make the turn or not,” she said.
Stockton thinks a signal might be helpful, not only for U.S. 40 traffic but also for those trying to enter that highway from Sni-A-Bar during rush hour.
Not all eastbound drivers have to yield to oncoming left-turners, but those turning right must do so.
They are in a turning lane that’s separated from adjacent highway lanes by an island, and state rules allow yield signs for those “channelized” turn lanes, said Cedrick C. Owens, senior traffic engineering specialist at the Missouri Department of Transportation. That’s why oncoming left-turners have the upper hand.
MoDOT has no plans to put a traffic light there. Studies have shown that the intersection doesn’t meet the requirements to justify a signal, a spokesman said. Another factor is the height of the signal, which is prohibited so close to a nearby airport.
The Watchdog says that if a traffic signal is too high for that airport, those may be airplanes worth chasing.
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