At the intersection of Highland Road and Airline Highway is a McDonald’s. It sits on the northeast corner, directly across from a Shell station on Airline and a new Walgreens on Highland. This letter is about the drivers who, no matter what the signage, median barriers or anything else the parish or law puts up, will risk life and limb just to go to McDonald’s.

This intersection has been the site of many wrecks, but lately a concrete median about 12 inches high was constructed to keep vehicles from making a left turn into the McDonald’s from Highland going east. The median runs about 100 feet, past the driveway of McDonald’s.

Well, guess what these ingenious drivers are doing now?

I witnessed a lady talking on a cellphone make a U-turn, stop with her car perpendicular to the two lanes she was blocking when she realized she could not make the turn without running over the curb. Then she decided to back up, clear the curb and complete the U-turn, all while continuing to talk on her cell phone, completely oblivious to the cars honking at her for blocking traffic in both directions.

Signs have been put up on Highland that read, “No driving on shoulder.” The signs are on either side of the deep rut now cut into the shoulder where vehicles have continued to make the U-turn and run off the curb. This placement makes them out of the way for folks making the turn — convenient.

There is an entrance to the McDonald’s on Airline just south of the intersection, so drivers going east on Highland can turn left at the light and enter. Drivers coming north on Airline should simply go through the intersection and make the easy right turn into the parking lot. Drivers going south on Airline should make a U-turn on Airline (at the light protected by an arrow) and come back to the entrance on Airline. That gives any driver wanting to go to McDonald’s a method to get there without making a left turn with no light (or even worse, a U-turn) in heavy oncoming traffic.

Maybe the signage should be “No U-turn,” instead of “No driving on shoulder” for our more-determined motorists who will do just about anything to get that Egg McMuffin.

Tom LeBlanc


Baton Rouge