I used to think New Jersey with its hatred of left turns (they have something called a roundabout – basically you make three right turns to turn left) and its decision to turn many local roads into highways (with, and I am not joking, on and off ramps) was the oddest road planning I’ve ever driven on.
But then I discovered West Virginia, or more specifically the Charleston area. I haven’t driven in the rest of the state much, but the Charleston area has what I am going to call a segregated left turn lane. (I could not find a formal name for it.)
In most parts of the USA, if you have an intersection where two major roads meet, traffic on Road A will be stopped so drivers from Road B can make their left turn.
In Charleston, however, they have dividers separating the left-most lane in Road B from the other lanes. When a driver needs to make a left turn from Road A, the traffic in just that one lane will be stopped, and the traffic in the other lanes on Road B keeps on moving.
If this sounds confusing, then I have successfully replicated what it is like to encounter a segregated left turn lane for the first time (and the second, third, fourth).
On the one hand I can see the value of this idea – it lets traffic keep flowing. But I also suspect that it causes a lot of accidents, and not just with tourists.
What is the oddest road planning decision you’ve encountered?