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February 07, 2009

‘Left lane limbo’

As annoying as drivers who “stop short” at stoplights are, I have always been perplexed by another paralysis that seems to have afflicted a great many drivers in this area. I call this phenomenon the “left lane limbo” syndrome. When I moved here several years ago from the land of Lincoln, I noticed drivers at intersections with no left turn arrow have extreme difficulty negotiating this maneuver. The secretary of state in Illinois has determined that if you’re adult enough to drive, you should be capable of managing your vehicle through an intersection without an invitation from the car behind you, via several blasts of the horn. So the state has few arrowed-only intersections.

Many drivers in this region, however, will sit through two and sometimes three light cycles until they figure out that we’re not getting any younger and then proceed. Drivers can, with turn signal activated, proceed safely into the intersection and wait for traffic to clear before finishing their left turn.

I encourage all drivers to try this. As well as being efficient, it is also a very “green” maneuver as it saves fuel.

Andy Cooper
Overland Park

Comments

Sarah

Also,

@ Dan I really disagree with you. Clearly you have never Been to:

Dallas
Palestine
Miami
Denver
LA
San Diego
Chicago
Houston
New York

list goes on...

Sarah

Sorry Andy,

But it is kinda hard to turn left on a round green arrow when there is a lot of oncoming traffic. Sorry you like to cut others off who have the right of way. JERK

solomon

T,

You sound like a crappy driver. If people did what you suggest there would be unreasonably long waits for left turns at major intersection every rush hour and weekend.

Just so you know all things are equal, I've sat behind people through two or three lights doing it your way. Now THOSE were idiots.

T. Hanson

If you pull into and stop in the intersection then your an idiot. First you block the intersection that could block emergency traffic. Second you have to judge if the oncoming traffic will yield at the yellow light (like they should). Or you could eliminate this you could just wait till you are clear to go before you enter the intersection.

T. Hanson

If you pull into and stop in the intersection then your an idiot. First you block the intersection that could block emergency traffic. Second you have to judge if the oncoming traffic will yield at the yellow light (like they should). Or you could eliminate this you could just wait till you are clear to go before you enter the intersection.

Pub 17

Tina McG--
One day I made a right on I-35 and drove to where it ends in Duluth. The biggest shock was when I crossed from Iowa into Minnesota. EASILY a ten-mph jump in average speed. A bunch of joyless Lutherans high on Caribou Coffee.

TinaMcG

I've driven a lot all over the Midwest. When I had a ten-state sales territory, I preferred driving over flying. Here is the verdict. Chicago drivers are pretty stupid and rude, but for stupid -- Omaha wins hands down. For rude, Minneapolis/St. Paul takes the prize.

If you plan on changing lanes in the Twin Cities, do NOT use your turn signal, or drivers on all sides of you will do their best to box you in. Other than that, I love it up there.

solomon

Dan Beyer,

See how pleasant you can be when you try. Now all of us metro residents are not painted in one brushstroke.

Dan Beyer

In my opinion for the size of Kansas City, I see more unskilled drivers here.

solomon

C'mon dude, recognize sarcasm.

You have driven all over the country and in your typical infinite wisdom judged the Kansas City metropolitan the worst there is.

Dan Beyer

I've lived in Minneapolis, Dallas, New York City, and Kansas City among other places. I have driven in all but one of the lower 48 states.
Trust me solomon, you need help. You thinking you have esp and/or super powers of perception or whatever it is you believe you have is only going to keep you from living a more complete life.

solomon

Really Dan, all over.....what do you think about the flashing red and green arrow merge lights getting on the highway around Minneapolis/St Paul?

Dan Beyer

I have lived and drove all over this country.
In my opinion the worst drivers by far are here in the Kansas City area.

TinaMcG

Oh for heaven's SAKE. You're going to make a left turn. You pull forward into the intersection to wait for the oncoming traffic to clear, and when it clears, you turn. If the light turns yellow while you're waiting, make damned sure oncoming cars are stopping before you turn. If it turns red while you're waiting, make the turn. Don't be a doofus and back up. Get it?

I've read the manuals, and I've aced the test.

red rover

Enter intersection, wait for traffic to clear and turn left, then get pulled over and get a ticket for entering the intersection when it wasn't clear. Read your driver's manuals people. You do not pull into an intersection if it is not clear.

TinaMcG

Yeah, he's right about it being annoying, but he's dead wrong about it not happening in Illinois. It was an almost-daily fact of life for me in suburban Chicago.

solomon

Andy has voiced the driving quirk that irks me the most.

Enter intersection, wait for traffic to clear and turn left. Seems so simple yet it is beyond some people to master.

 
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