Huntsville University Drive is almost always busy. It’s sometimes tough for drivers on side streets to get on to University. One access is the ramp from Sparkman Drive that allows drivers to turn west onto University. “Confusing, confusing,” says Robert Baker. He’s concerned because the ramp includes two lanes, which both have traffic lights, and from which drivers can only turn right.
“The other morning, I came up and when I saw the red light, I stopped, and I waited for it to change, and people lined up behind me started blowing their horns. They pulled around me, went out and made a right turn on red, and I though am I doing something wrong?” says Baker.
As it is now, drivers in both lanes of the ramp can turn right on red. The problem crops up because not every driver understands that. Observing the intersection, you can see drivers who are unsure what they should do. You see other drivers who don’t even slow down at the intersection as they make their right hand turn. We saw two drivers approach the intersection, and the one in the right lane immediately turned right. The driver in the left lane paused, and then made a hard turn across across the end of the now vacant right lane, to turn right.
“My question is, if all you can do is make a right turn there, and they want you to make a right turn on red, why don’t they put a yield sign or a stop sign?” asks Robert Baker. It also needs to be noted, that the light for drivers on the ramp, rarely seems to turn green, no matter how many drivers are in line.
There’s also the consideration for drivers on busy University. “If you’re coming down University, I don’t think you know what to expect of people coming out of that intersection,” says Mr. Baker.
After watching the intersection, we agree with Mr. Baker that what drivers should do could be much clearer. That’s why we’re taking action, and taking his concerns to city traffic engineers.