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Drivers Find Habits Hard to Break

Exhibit A was the scene at the Telegraph Road/Beltway interchange today, where new ramps have opened that should make travel through the junction a lot easier. But ...

Telegraph Road ramps Web.jpg Click for larger image of new Telegraph Road ramps. (Wilson Bridge Project)

"As with most new traffic patterns, there is a bit of confusion," said Johanna Jones, a spokeswoman for the Wilson Bridge Project, which is in charge of the reconstruction at the interchange.

Drivers couldn't deal with a good thing. They were trying to make left turns where they no longer have to make left turns. That's the point of these new ramps.

This is how veteran Get There commenter 1995hoo described the scene:
"At one point while waiting to turn onto Telegraph I saw about seven cars in a row all make the now-illegal left turn. All told while I waited through two light cycles I'm sure I saw close to 20 drivers do this.

"That says to me that a better sign is needed to clarify that this maneuver is no longer allowed. It's easy to assume that it's just first-day jitters and people not knowing about the change, but when 20 cars made this move in barely five minutes I think there's something more to the problem." (See the rest of what 1995hoo had to say in a previous posting.)

Jones offered a guide to what the new ramps can do for drivers.

1) Leaving the Beltway's outer loop at exit 176A (southbound Telegraph Road/Route 611)
Huntington Avenue.The new ramp will allow traffic to exit the Beltway, cross over Telegraph Road, and flow directly onto eastbound Huntington Avenue without stopping at a traffic signal.
North Kings Highway. The new ramp allows traffic to exit the Beltway, cross over Telegraph Road and flow directly onto eastbound North Kings Highway without stopping at a traffic signal. Until the new southbound Telegraph Road to eastbound North Kings Highway ramp is opened in 2010, motorists will need to yield when merging onto North Kings Highway.
Telegraph Road South. The new ramp, a half-mile south of the old exit, leads to a new right-hand turn signal onto Telegraph Road.
Telegraph Road North. Motorists needing to access Telegraph Road northbound must exit at 176 B (Telegraph Road North). The left turn temporarily allowed from exit 176A no longer exists.

2) Traveling along Telegraph Road South
Motorists traveling south along Telegraph Road who used to take a left onto Huntington Avenue now have a ramp from the far right-hand lane that that carries them over Telegraph Road and onto Huntington Avenue.

By Robert Thomson  |  June 1, 2009; 4:06 PM ET
Categories:  Wilson Bridge  | Tags: Beltway, Telegraph Road, Wilson Bridge  
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I added some further comments to the prior Telegraph Road discussion after driving through there again today (this time on southbound Telegraph). Rather than retyping them, I'll just put the link here:

I made some suggestions on how they could modify the temporary signage to make things clearer.

Posted by: 1995hoo | June 1, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: Thanks, 1995hoo, for these detailed comments. I'm asking the bridge project for a reaction to your suggestions on the the placement and content of signs. Also, I placed your good description of the scene into the entry above.

Posted by: rtthomson1 | June 1, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I give a thumbs up to 1995hoo's signage suggestions. Hopefully project engineers agree :)

Posted by: thetan | June 2, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

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