Traffic Talk: Drivers have suggestions to ease bottlenecks, install proper signage

Don Gammill: Learning to navigate interstate curves can be “a tough lesson” for speedy or inexperienced drivers.
by Don Gammill Published: January 27, 2014
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How about some reader suggestions? These are recent items from drivers:

Going my way?

(The intersection of N Meridian Avenue at W Memorial Road westbound) needs a double turn lane for traffic turning south ... it is backed up all of the time, because most cars want to get in the turning lane to turn east on Memorial on their way to Mercy or the Heart Hospital. The cars turning south onto Meridian Avenue and continuing on Meridian get in that mess and everyone is jammed until the next green light. The double turn people could proceed west on Memorial, or turn into the far lane going south on Meridian ... easy fix in my book! They have done the same thing at MacArthur and W Memorial Road (westbound).

Jane

An area I'm very familiar with, Jane, and it can be a big bottleneck. While adding another turn lane sounds like an easy solution, there are several factors to be considered. You are, after all, affecting traffic from more than two directions.

The experts continuously look over these heavy spots. As they look at future use, let's see what they come up with.

Speedy curve

When ... on Interstate 35 going north and turn(ing) west onto I-44, you curve off to the left and go on a large curve above I-44 and nowhere is there a sign to reduce your speed in the curve. I don't feel the speed should be the same as on I-35 as it is in that curve. The same is true when you exit I-44 from the west to go south on I-35, again there is no reduce speed sign of any kind. As an experienced driver, I know to reduce speed, but young drivers don't necessarily know or realize this.

Sharon

Reduce going in and back to normal speed coming out. Too much speed is a problem in most instances. The signage does indicate a curve, it's not hard to see it's a big one.

Learning to negotiate such a route can be a tough lesson if the driver is traveling too fast, for sure.

Those who study safety of our roads have determined the signs used there are appropriate. Like the heavy traffic situation above, this is an area they look at frequently. If they think a change is needed, they'll get it done.

Proper signs

Oklahoma road signage is terrible! Too little (none) or too much (signs that no longer apply).

Too little: Try following famous historic Route 66. We did a few years ago. We came to a T-intersection and had to turn left or right. Signage said that we were on Route 66, but not which way it went! If Route 66 is such a tourist attraction, why not direct us and other tourists to it or along it? Too much: Lane closed signs were placed northbound on MacArthur and westbound on 63rd street recently. Guess what? The lanes were NOT closed when I drove down them! How am I, or anyone, supposed to drive competently in the appropriate lane when, by sloth or incompetence, I am dis-informed? If I get in the left lane, per the signs, and have to make a right-hand turn, I am in the wrong lane and frequently someone else in the “correct” lane (scofflaws or knows-better)! It seems that all the road crews have to do is cover or remove the signs when the lane is cleared, either temporarily, or permanently. Integrity in signage would be nice ...

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by Don Gammill
General Assignment Editor and Columnist
Don Gammill is general assignment editor and columnist. A native of Ponca City, he graduated from Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma). While in college, he was a sports stringer for The Oklahoma City Times....
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