When traffic is clogged at a downtown intersection, there may be a way to reduce some of the congestion: Eliminate a few left turns.
According to Vikash Gayah, associate professor of civil engineering at Penn State, well-placed left-turn restrictions in certain busy intersections could loosen many of the bottlenecks that hamper traffic efficiency. He recently created a new method that could help cities identify where to restrict these turns to improve overall traffic flow.
“We have all experienced that feeling of getting stuck waiting to make a left turn,” Gayah said. “And if you allow these turns to have their own green arrow, you have to stop all other vehicles, making the intersection less productive. Left turns are also where you find the most severe crashes, especially with pedestrians. Our idea is to get rid of these turns when we can to create safer and more efficient intersections.” [Read more…] about Still waiting at an intersection? Banning certain left turns helps traffic flow