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Aug 26, 2013 10:04 PM by Samantha Ptashkin

Tucson Traffic: Indirect left turns instrumental or inconvenient?

TUCSON- The City of Tucson has all sorts of left turns, from lagging to leading. Now there is a new one where drivers don't actually make a left turn and some Tucsonans aren't so sure about it.

The "Indirect Left Turn" is when drivers go straight through an intersection, make a U-turn about 600 feet past the crossing, then make a right turn, setting them back on their intended path.

"We have so many cars turning left that they start to stack up," says Priscilla Sawyer Cornelio of the Pima County Department of Transportation.

The county is set to start operating its first Indirect Left Turn in just a couple of weeks in the east and westbound lanes at Ina and Oracle. Sawyer Cornelio says it will help reduce travel time by 40% in that intersection. "What we're able to do is platoon the cars by getting them through the intersection, making the U-turn and going back up to Oracle Road," Sawyer Cornelio says. "It works from a modeling kind of a stand point."

But some drivers don't support the idea. "That sounds crazy to me," says Driver Priscilla Roberts.

"You're going to get a lot of road rage," says Driver Kathleen Taylor.

Most drivers say if it works, that's great, but they won't believe it until they see it. "It's all very confusing," Roberts says. "I think it's going to cause a lot of accidents and people won't know what to do."

The City of Tucson will also be installing its first Indirect Left Turn at the end of September at Grant and Oracle. It's part of the Grant Road Improvement Plan, funded by the RTA. The city will also be installing the Indirect Left Turn at Grant/First, Grant/Campbell, Grant/Country Club, Grant/Alvernon, and Grant/Swan.

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