Archive for Thursday, April 20, 2006

Common courtesy lacking in left turns

April 20, 2006

If the past few weeks are any indication, it's going to be a long two years waiting for work on Main Street to be completed.

In a test run of sorts for when the $13.3 million widening project gets under way on Main Street, a single northbound lane from Kansas Avenue to just north of Ida Street has been closed to traffic while gas lines, water lines and power lines are being moved back from the road.

Hoping to alleviate a resulting bottleneck for northbound traffic at Main and Ida, city officials banned left-hand turns onto Ida from Main.

Far too many drivers, however, think the "No Left Turn" signs apply to everyone but themselves.

The first day the signs went up, police issued verbal warnings to drivers who ignored the signs and made a left turn there; since then, they've been writing citations - and plenty of them, if you listen to Police Chief Steve Wayman.

It shouldn't be that way.

Police have better things to do than write tickets for drivers who think they're above the law and decide the "No Left Turn" sign doesn't apply to them. Unfortunately, because so many drivers are making the illegal lefts, it's become an issue the police can't ignore.

Traffic is backing up on Main Street at busy times of the day. Patience is wearing thin, and tempers are running hot. If people would only obey the signs, much of the problems could be alleviated.

The vast majority of drivers do obey the signs; they do so because it's the law. Besides, it's just common courtesy. The time saved by the driver making the illegal left turn isn't any more valuable than the time it costs the poor drivers waiting behind him.

Let's do our part to pass this test run on Main Street so that when real deal begins in the coming months, we'll all be able to get through it without creating any additional discomfort. A good start is to be sure we, as individuals, obey the law.

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