Getting rid of all Left Turns

Some transportation engineers at NS State University have published a new study that shows left turns aren’t needed.  We can create what are called “superstreets” that allow only right hand turns.  This improves both travel times and safety, not to mention fuel economy.  This isn’t exactly a new idea.  Michigan already has this type of system (hence the “Michigan left” nickname) and it seems to invoke a love/hate relationship with drivers.  UPS implemented a virtual system of no left turns years ago to save fuel and increase safety.  There are a couple of things left out of the news reports on this, however.  A system like this would take more land for roads, not less.  Also, crossing 2-3 lanes of traffic to get to the U-turn can be problematic, I’d imagine, especially in rush hour.  I’d also imagine the British would suggest this problem can be fixed with a good old ’round about’, although they’ve not really caught on in the US.

What do you guys think?  Should left turns be a thing of the past we tell our grandkids about, like Atari and TV tubes, or do left turns make the most sense if you’re going left?

4 Comments to Getting rid of all Left Turns

  1. I think it would take a while to catch on in the rural states and with older drivers. Example: Before GPS, my wife’s whole family flew to another state for a wedding (30+ people). We rented vans to help cut costs. While trying to find the way to the hotel, we ended up on a street that seemed to run the length of the city that did not allow LEFT turns. The drivers of the van, all at least 25 years older than me, stopped and talked to each other half a dozen times wondering when there would be a left turn lane. I kept telling them that 3 rights make a left, but they just ignored me since I was the punk college kid. After 45 minutes of driving and arguing, one of the uncles finally thought about it and decided I was right, but could only convince the other drivers by telling them to go around the block and start heading back. It wasn’t until the next day when we hit a road again that her other uncles finally let me draw it out and explain. To a bunch of dumb ND farmers, the quickest way is a straight line……

  2. The British would object to being forced to cross traffic at every junction before anyone ever mentions the word “roundabout”…

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