Odd no-left-turn sign has an explanation

Published: Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 8:34 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 8:34 p.m.

Steve Kirn wrote to The Sun recently with a “What’s up with the roads around here?!?” question concerning a sign on eastbound Millhopper Road approaching 43rd Street that prohibits left turns onto 46th Terrace from 7 to 9 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“I pick up my carpool partner just off Northwest 46th Terrace as I drive in from further west on Millhopper,” Kirn said. “So, does this mean I must drive past Northwest 46th Terrace … and either (A.) turn right into the Publix shopping center, loop around, return to Millhopper, turn left back across Millhopper … to turn right onto 46th Terrace, or (B.) find some way via various shopping center parking lots to get from eastbound Millhopper onto northbound 43rd Street, so I can turn left … onto Millhopper at the traffic light, so I can turn right onto 46th Terrace? I’m thinking (it takes me) at least five extra minutes to simply make a legal turn!”

Brian M. Singleton, the transportation engineering manager for Alachua County Public Works, said the purpose of the sign is to prevent cars that are bound for Talbot Elementary School from cutting through the Ashton subdivision.

Parents would drop their children off at the north end of Ashton in the morning and would park along the streets of Ashton in the afternoon to pick up their kids, blocking driveways and creating dangers for kids walking in the subdivision, Singleton said.

“Traffic speeds showed that traffic was traveling above the posted speed limit, and there were school kids walking to and from the school within the Ashton Subdivision,” Singleton said.

“The only way to prevent this cut-through traffic was to prohibit the eastbound left turn from Northwest 53rd Avenue into the Ashton during the times the school kids would be walking to and from Talbot Elementary,” he said.

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