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Traffic Talk: ‘Temporary’ change makes NW 164 and Pennsylvania intersection a four-way stop

Don Gammill: Oklahoma City road-widening project includes some inconvenience to motorists — for now.

by Don Gammill Published: December 3, 2012

“It’s only temporary” doesn’t sit well with some people, especially impatient drivers.

But like it or not, traffic control at one of the most traveled intersections in northwest Oklahoma City has changed “temporarily.”

I first received this inquiry from Greg:

Please seek an answer to this quandary for me. I use westbound NW 164 frequently. More often than not, I have to wait through multiple light changes to make a left turn from the dedicated left turn lane because the signal fails to give a left turn arrow ... I am forced to wait until an oncoming car is turning left also. (Eastbound traffic does not have a dedicated turn lane.) If they do not intend to allow the left turn arrow to function, why install it and create the frustration?

A city official checked, then responded: “This left turn was only used at certain times of the day when most needed in an effort to best serve drivers’ needs at an intersection that was over capacity (with respect to traffic demand and the number of lanes available to serve the demand).”

The official told me that the intersection was in the process of being widened and he just that day (Nov. 27) heard that the signal was being removed “and the intersection will be operated using all-way stop control until the new signal and intersection improvements are substantially complete and ready to place in operation.”

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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