15 thoughts on “No Left Turns”

  1. Well, you could always do what OC does, which is to put left-hand turn lanes and arrow lights at every single damn intersection, even if you’re waiting to turn into the Krispy Kreme drive-thru to pick up a dozen artery cloggers and a cup of joe. Makes your left turn actually safer than your right, since in California you can turn right on red. Er…at least I hope so, since I’ve been doing it the last 15 years.

    Anyway, I think the idea is that we have these Stalinesque roads — 4 lanes is standard, 6 common, and let us not even speak, but only genuflect, before the immortal El Toro Y, with 20 — but proceed along them in a stately and dignified manner, averaging about the speed a horse trots, restrained if not by enormous traffic jams then by red lights every 100 yards.

    Now personally, when I was 16, I considered executing a daring left-hand turn through heavy high-speed multilane opposing traffic a test of manhood. Particularly in an underpowered car with a standard transmission on a cold winter day with unplowed snowy roads and an engine not yet warmed up. At the top of a hill, of course. With the rising sun in your eyes.

  2. I, too, grew up in Teh Mitten(TM) and chuckle a bit at the way TX does it: We’ll have center islands with the occasional equal-opportunity break in them facilitating turns of all kinds — left turns, u-turns, or just plain ol’ blastin’ across the middle from one side to the other on a side-street.

    It’s always fun to watch the natives when you get two opposing cars both try to do (respective) lefts in the same intersection at the same time. If they can first figure out whether they’re supposed to cross over do-si-do style or keep to their respective sides of the gap, they then must negotiate seeing ’round the side of each other to spy the oncoming — which usually has no inclination to let either of them go anywhere.

  3. I lived in MI for thirty years before I came to Tally, FL, four years ago. there are so many dividied roads I do more “Michigan lefts” here than I did in Michigan

  4. Only in a Euclidean metric, McG. On the surface of the Earth, for example, a mildly curved space, three rights make slightly less than a left.

  5. They could put in jug handles like the ones in the Philadelphia area. These seem to work OK and they do not take up much room.

  6. David, assuming a roundabout is ever the solution, it’s for intersecting roads of comparable traffic load.

    The linked article is about intersections where the roads accommodate very different traffic loads. Imagine driving down a four-lane highway and having to negotiate a roundabout at every subdivision entrance or every two-lane farm road along the way.

  7. Yea I took a business trip to Michigan one time. The native that was driving us around was turning through this crazy U-turn median thingy and you could tell she was just waiting for the confused faces and the subsequent, “wha’ the hell are you doing?” “Michigan Left, we call it a Michigan left!!” as she bounced up and down in her seat. You all act like it’s soo smart good a way to do it but soo quick to defend, jeez ;-P

  8. I can rember trying to use the roundabout at the south end of Lakewood Blvd during rush hour(s) before they built 405. As they used to sa on a certain TV show verrry interesting.

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