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A case for why the US should ban left turns.

jp10558

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This idea sounds great in some ways, but as New Jersey shows, you have to completely redesign streets. Where I live, kind of in the country, many parts of the small cities are miracle miles - there's no 3 right turns because there's no non-dead end cross streets. So if you want to go some places, you'd have to drive a couple miles to find a right -> right -> right to turn around - think of super highways. It'd basically be a divided highway. I generally find turn lanes and stop lights with turn arrows a more reasonable solution at least till you can remake whole areas of small cities. And what about side roads / highways? I don't see people on my rural road driving 10 more miles in a loop so they can make a right into their driveway rather than a left. Nor do I think that's actually going to be good for the environment in the aggregate.

As to the idling issue - that's what stop-start is for, as well as EVs don't matter "idling". So yea. Oh, and if you're going to entirely remake your city streets, it seems to me roundabouts are better than stoplights and solve many of the same issues.
 

Passepartout

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This idea sounds great in some ways, but as New Jersey shows, you have to completely redesign streets.
This alone would make this proposal a non-starter. I think that the rest of the world just might find other priorities for spending money.
 

Janann

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My city tried a Michigan left turn intersection at a very large, busy intersection for a while. After a few years, it was removed, and I don't know why. It cost a huge amount of money to build it and remove it.

Traffic circles are supposed to be the wave of the future, and Carmel Indiana is leading the way. There are only a couple traffic circles in the next city over from where I live.

Its a statistical fact that left turns cause a huge number of major collisions. Traffic circles have fewer accidents, and the damage is much less because traffic is moving slower.
 

jp10558

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My city tried a Michigan left turn intersection at a very large, busy intersection for a while. After a few years, it was removed, and I don't know why. It cost a huge amount of money to build it and remove it.

Traffic circles are supposed to be the wave of the future, and Carmel Indiana is leading the way. There are only a couple traffic circles in the next city over from where I live.

Its a statistical fact that left turns cause a huge number of major collisions. Traffic circles have fewer accidents, and the damage is much less because traffic is moving slower.
Personally, I hate that Michigan left - In what way is a U turn safer than a quick left? You're still U turning into oncoming fast traffic! Glad they never got tried in NY - in Florida and I think VA they're a nightmare - I strongly support banning U Turns! You get everything you'd get from a left turn, but slower and more cumbersome for the "turner" and you get to take up a lot more space to make the intersection. You also get the risk of slowing down or backing up into the *left* lane!

Traffic Circles make a lot more sense IMNSHO. Of course, the major danger of left hand turns IMO is on "stroads" where people are going over 30mph city speeds so cannot slow down enough or stop if someone makes an inadvisable left turn, and also have enough speed to be a major T-Bone. Most of the safety of a traffic circle is the speed differential between entering and leaving cars is quite small because they're kind of more like a merge / sideswipe. Of course, the other option is left turn ONLY on a green arrow. I would think this would then limit the danger to the people that are already running a red light vs people getting surprised by someone making an ill advised left turn suddenly.
 

rickandcindy23

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Traffic circles solve a lot of traffic issues, and Denver has a plethora of these. It's eased up on traffic jams, but some traffic circles are so ridiculously busy, it's tough to move to the right to get to the turn. I know of one in particular that should have remained a traffic signal. Busiest intersection, right off of I-25 and Hwy 7 in Colorado.
 

dioxide45

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Traffic circles have fewer accidents, and the damage is much less because traffic is moving slower.
I'm not sure they have fewer accidents. I thought I read they have more but as you indicated there is less damage and way fewer fatalities. I wonder if roundabouts is a reason I see more dinged up cars when in Europe vs the USA.
 

x3 skier

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The first time I was in a roundabout in the USA was the one outside Logan Airport in Boston. I made three circles before I figured out NOBODY was going to let me out. So I avoided eye contact and got out.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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Many major roads in Mexico do not have left turns. Instead there is frontage type road that parallels the major road on both sides. To make a left turn, you exit onto the frontage road and proceed to the intersection. You then make the left turn from the frontage road. You can also make a U-turn by turning left again on the other side of the highway.

When you are on the main highway, all you do is travel forward. No turns of any type, only right lane merges to enter and exit the highway. After I got used to it, I thought it was a great concept.
 
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easyrider

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Many major roads in Mexico do not have left turns. Instead there is frontage type road that parallels the major road on both sides. To make a left turn, you exit onto the frontage road and proceed to the intersection. You then make the left turn onto the frontage road. You can also make a U-turn by turning left again on the other side of the highway.

When you are on the main highway, all you do is travel forward. No turns of any type, only right lane merges to enter and exit the highway. After I got used to it, I thought it was a great concept.

Our first trip to Cabo in the early 90's was with a rental car and stopping in the road to turn left while everyone honked and waved at my driving. I thought that the Mexicans were just being friendly so I honked and waved back. I did eventually figure it out on my own because Cabo was so small a town. As the years went by, Cabo installed traffic lights with left turn lanes in many places.

Bill
 

b2bailey

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Many years ago, my brother worked for the "phone company" and I remember him telling me he was NEVER allowed to make a left turn. Studies had shown a huge percent of accidents involve a left turn.
 

WaikikiFirst

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What the world really needs is a vaccine against the pandemic of people who want to ban this that and the other thing.
I will say the last time I drove in the DC area, it was insane. They had left turn avail everywhere but no left turn signals and zero left turn lanes, so the 2 lane roads lost half their capacity as soon as traffic got bad enough to make lefts almost impossible. maybe bethesda was the worst? THEY should ban lefts 12 hrs/day if they won't make them feasible
 
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