In the further adventures of traffic engineers who design new intersections that look dumb but are supposed to be smart, the Regional Transportation Alliance is hosting a discussion Thursday about something called the quadrant roadway.
Left turns, it is well known, are the scourge of city streets. I turn left, and you wait. Get rid of left turns, and everybody has less waiting.
The quadrant roadway doesn't eliminate left turns, but it moves them out of clogged intersections. Stay with me on this.
At the main intersection, there are no left turns. After those green arrows go away, that leaves more solid-green time for everybody else. You stop for the cross street but you no longer stop for left-turners.
So how do you turn left from street A to street B? You make an extra turn either a block before or a block after the main intersection.
This involves installing extra traffic signals on both streets, but here's the alleged clincher: Even though you go through more traffic lights, you spend less time stopped at red and more time zooming through green.
That's what they say. Greensboro has one of these odd intersections, and it is claimed to save drivers a collective 150 hours of delay every day. A few other North Carolina cities are thinking about getting 'em one.
The Regional Transportation Alliance has organized what it calls a solutions forum entitled "Turning Left the 'Right' Way" from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, 800 S. Salisbury St., downtown Raleigh. Experts will be in attendance. Information: 919-664-7062 or email@example.com.