The Watchdog

April 19, 2014

Driver says Riss Lake exit misses the boat

The Missouri Department of Transportation says changing the traffic pattern would cause problems at where the Riss Lake and Monticello subdivisons meet.
The problem

In Platte County, the Riss Lake and Monticello subdivisions are on opposite sides of Missouri 45, aka Tom Watson Parkway and Northwest 64th Street.

Riss Lake is south of the highway, and resident Randy Timmerman thinks traffic flow can be improved there. He faults the current setup, which designates the left lane out of Riss Lake for turns only, while the other lane handles both right turns and through traffic into Monticello.

“If someone is leaving Monticello and either coming into Riss Lake or turning west onto Highway 45, the Riss Lake cars have to wait for them,” Timmerman said. “However, if you are attempting to turn right onto Highway 45 and someone is going into Monticello, you have to wait for the light to turn green for them to drive through and you to turn.

“It clogs the flow.”

His suggestion?

Move the straight-ahead traffic into the left lane and reserve the right lane for right turns. Riss Lake generates more traffic and most residents turn right toward Interstate 29, he said, so it makes sense to move them through as quickly as possible.

“The interesting thing is if you leave Monticello, their left lane is used as the straight-ahead lane


turn lane. Their right lane is used strictly as a turn lane,” he said. “It doesn’t seem consistent.”

The answer

The Missouri Department of Transportation says the setup actually is the same for both subdivisions. Monticello is a mirror image of Riss Lake.

That said, MoDOT deems it unwise to put the straight-ahead traffic into the left lane because there are no turn arrows, said traffic studies specialist Zachary Zalneraitis.

“Because of this, when the light turns green, any left-turning vehicles would have to wait for a gap and therefore would obstruct vehicles behind them waiting to go straight through,” he said.

The Watchdog can see why it’s better to block people hoping to turn right on red. A green light guarantees that the first car can move, but that’s not the case when the left-turners always have to yield.

The Dog would like to hear from others in the subdivision. Is the handsome pooch all wet

before he jumps in the lake?

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