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Traffic Talk: Cones have a reason to be in the road

Don Gammill: There generally is a good reason for Oklahoma City traffic crews to put up cones and such when and where they do.
By DON GAMMILL dgammill@opubco.com Published: July 15, 2013
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Though it may not be totally apparent every time, there generally is a good reason for traffic crews to put up cones and such when and where they do.

Does not the city require that contractors who must, for safety reasons, close the curbside lane to traffic at times do everything they can to minimize the problems these closures cause drivers? This past Saturday, it took four light cycles for me to make it through the intersection at NW 10 and Portland because several blocks of 10th (Street) were one lane. There were no workers present. The only obstacles were the traffic cones blocking the outside lane. If the contractor had simply moved these cones to the right of way, the lane could have been used by the citizens as intended. I realize that it would have cost the contractor to have their employees do this but that is a cost of doing business. The citizens of Oklahoma should not have to burn their gas waiting through several signal cycles so the contractor can save a buck. …

Jon

City Traffic Engineer Stuart Chai responds: “The answer is yes. The city does not encourage lane closures any more than necessary nor any longer than necessary to facilitate roadway work.

“The work zone in (Jon's) comments was set up in preparation of a city project to add a north bound right turn lane on N Portland Avenue at NW 10. This will significantly help move traffic through the intersection, which has a considerable right turn demand.

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