Indirect left turns: Helpful or a headache?

Simone Del Rosario

Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Indirect left turns: Helpful or a headache?

CREATED Oct. 21, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - On Tuesday morning, the second indirect left turn comes to Tucson at Grant and Oracle roads. The turn will affect 67,000 commuters who pass through the intersection every day. 

The first indirect left turn opened at Ina and Oracle more than a month ago. Before any more pop up in the area, Nine On Your Side broke down the numbers to figure out if indirect turns are actually helpful, or just a headache. 

The traffic report at Ina and Oracle is in: Pima County Department of Transportation said it used to take drivers four light cycles to get through the intersection. Now, with the indirect left turn, they say nearly all drivers can clear the intersection every time the light turns green. 

"That's something we've seen firsthand," said Sherry Barnett of Northwest Pet Clinic.

The clinic is located right next to the intersection. Barnett said that before the indirect left, rush hour was a mad dash. 

"We would hear all kinds of honking of the horns and obscenities," she said. 

But now, she said it's smooth sailing. 

Not everyone agrees, including the makers of a YouTube parody on the indirect left turn at Ina and Oracle. Many are frustrated by the time it takes to maneuver through the indirect left turn, but the county said it will only get faster in time. 

They say ADOT is working to time the lights so that even though you have to go through three intersections to complete the maneuver, you should only hit one red light. 

Along with improving travel time, the county said the indirect left turn is supposed to also reduce accidents, but that it's too early to measure those statistics. 

The city predicts that at Grant and Oracle, the indirect left turn will reduce travel time by 42 percent and crashes by 15 to 30 percent. 

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