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Left-turn signals

Addressing the lack of and/or poor timing of Austin's left turn signals

Photo of Jason Garcia
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I have noticed that in many cities I've visited with newer traffic configurations, left-turning traffic from either direction is given priority. In Austin, however, many intersections either lack dedicated left-turn signals, or have them timed so that left-turning traffic proceeds last in the cycle. The problems here are twofold: 1) traffic backs up in the left lane, spilling over into the through lane, in periods of heavy traffic. I'm specifically referencing the left turn signal at Barton Springs to South 1st street here. And 2) at two-lane roads with signals with no dedicated left turn signal, drivers are forced to make sometimes unsafe turns against oncoming traffic while also backing up the traffic behind them. I have noticed some improvements in this regard, but it's not enough. Austin needs to identify all of the intersections where this is a problem and implement the left turn changes above for improved traffic flow and increased safety for its drivers.


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