When Ravi Bhagat of Overland Park drives south on Metcalf and wants to turn left onto eastbound 133rd Street, he has trouble seeing oncoming traffic if a large car is sitting in the opposite left-turn lane, across the intersection.
While there is a left-turn arrow at this intersection, he says it’s too short, so most drivers try to turn on the solid green light and often have near misses with oncoming traffic they can’t see well.
Since January 2009, Overland Park has recorded 15 left-turn crashes at that intersection.
As for the timing of the signal, that depends on the time of day and the amount of traffic, said Brian Shields, city traffic engineer. At this particular junction, the green arrow lasts up to 24 seconds.
“Drivers have ample opportunity to turn left on a green arrow and then continue to make left turns after the green arrow goes out as long as there is a safe gap in the opposing through traffic,” Shields said.
The city considers that sufficient and will not be making adjustments right now. Shields suggests that drivers wait for the next arrow if they don’t feel safe turning on the solid green.
The Watchdog is happy to take that suggestion, but he’s certain that some dang Newfoundland behind him will bark his fool head off.
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