Ask The Advocate: Readers share concerns about traffic lights — and we get some answers _lowres

Advocate file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Kevin Foster, a traffic signal technician with the Dept. of Public Works, repairs a traffic light at Siegen Lane.

QUESTION: I travel North Lobdell Boulevard going south to Bishop Ott Drive daily and turn left from Lobdell. There is no need for the ‘left only’ signal at this intersection. I rarely encounter any significant traffic traveling north that would prevent me from turning left onto Bishop Ott much sooner than having to wait for the left turn signal. Can this be changed?

ANSWER: Ingolf A. Partenheimer, the city-parish’s chief traffic engineer, says:

“The southbound left turn on arrow only (also known as a protected left) is the result of having a northbound dual left. As dual lefts are not allowed to operate as protected permitted lefts (e.g., they aren’t allowed to go on the green ball, but must wait on the green arrow), then so too must the single left opposing them.

“However, we will look and see if the dual left is still needed, and if not, we can convert the signal. This study will have to take place in the fall semester because school traffic is now winding down.”

QUESTION: The traffic signal at Greenwell Springs Road and Sullivan Road is a “no left turn on green” onto Sullivan since the opening of the Central Thruway. This is a long waste of everybody’s time because since the thruway has opened there is hardly any traffic going south on Greenwell Springs Road and there are times you sit at the green light with not a single vehicle in sight.

ANSWER: Indira Parrales, a state Department of Transportation and Development spokesperson, says: “Within the year, DOTD will verify the value of having a signal in place at this intersection.”

QUESTION: It seems I can count on seeing a serious accident on Acadian Thruway near the Interstate 10 West ramps on a regular basis. These accidents usually end up with disabled vehicles and cops holding up traffic. Has DOTD considered extending the green arrow for traffic turning left onto Acadian from the I-10 W off-ramp (or turning left onto the on-ramp from Acadian) so drivers are less tempted to gun it?

ANSWER: Indira Parrales, the DOTD spokesperson, says: “The signal timing at this intersection has been adjusted as recently as November in an attempt to improve the situation and we will continue to monitor the location.

“DOTD has this intersection as a primary candidate for future improvements. Possible options do include additional turn lanes.”

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