Unique Intersections in Salt Lake County
Continuous Flow Intersections are meant to ease congestion on busy streets. You may not have known the name or the purpose, but when you came to this type of intersection, such as the one at 3500 South and Bangerter Highway, you were probably a bit confused, shocked, or maybe even oblivious. You may have witnessed a car accident, or felt like you might have one yourself!
Why Counties are Using New Intersection Styles
These roads are designed to ease the congestion that is caused at intersections by left-hand turns. The way these roads work is by having the vehicles that are making a left had turn at a desired intersections enter into a separate lane well before the intersection. Once on-coming traffic is stopped at the intersection, these left-hand turn drivers cross over the on-coming traffic lane into a new lane on the far left hand side of the road. This allows them to turn left at the intersection without having to yield to the on-coming traffic. This also means that drivers going straight through the intersection do not have to worry about cars turning left. Also, right-hand turns have changed at this type of intersection. You will no longer need to stop when making a right-hand turn in these Continuous Flow Intersections. But please note that you do need to yield to pedestrians.
There is another new innovative intersection that can be found in Draper at 12300 South and Minuteman Drive. It is called a “ThrU-Turn Intersection”. These unique intersections, like Continuous Flow Intersections, do not allow left-hand turns in the actual intersections. Drivers that desire to turn left must proceed through the intersection and then make a U-turn down the road. After making the U-turn these drivers can then make a right-hand turn at the original intersection.
Are Unique Intersections Working?
Although a bit confusing at first, these roads have done a lot to reduce commute times. Fox 13 news reported that, “Since installing some in Draper on 12300 South, UDOT officials say, traffic congestion has been reduced by 15 percent.” Not only has commute time been impacted by these roads, but also safety in these intersections has improved. In fact, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that there has been a “60 percent reduction in accidents at 3500 South” since 2007 when the intersection was installed.
These statistics show that although these intersections can be a bit confusing and frustrating initially, they really are having a positive impact on driving in Salt Lake County.
Avoiding Car Accidents
This reduction in the number of accidents is amazing. However, that does not mean that accidents are not happening in these new, innovative intersections. It is important that you, as the driver, take the time to understand these intersections. It may mean studying available images and instructions online before driving on these roads to educate yourself on where to drive. Also, be aware that your GPS device or other navigation system may not be updated. So, remember it is important to follow the posted street signs and directions rather than relying solely on your device to direct you. Most importantly, if you happen to find yourself missing a turn or ending up in a spot you did not intend to, keep calm. Do not ever attempt to make your own route. If you do get turned around on these intersections remember that you can always turn on the next street and retrace your steps.
Drivers that are unfamiliar with this type of intersection can pose huge hazards to everyone. Even if you know where you are going, there are other drivers that are not as familiar with these unique intersections. Drive cautiously!
If you happen to be involved in an accident in a Continuous Flow or a ThrU-Turn Intersection it is important to contact an attorney that is familiar with these unique Salt Lake County streets. A knowledgeable attorney can help you navigate the various ins and outs of the law in regards to these unique streets that have difficult ins and outs themselves. Contact Symkoviak Law for a free consultation.