crossing a free right-turn lane

Posted on April 28, 2012


The free right-turn is a traffic engineering tool that every driver has almost certainly passed through at some point. It is a tool designed to “improve” operations on a corridor (see also: biased language).

Looks harmless enough. The two videos below put you into the shoes of a pedestrian attempting to cross the street where a free right turn exists. Experience the walk in two stages: first, where the sidewalk meets the street; second, partway through the street at a concrete island designed as a refuge for pedestrians.

Notice the yellow vests. The picture and videos were taken as part of a Road Safety Audit to help right the wrongs of old design practice. The corridors were designed to process as many vehicles as possible, as quickly as possible. But as land development increased over the years, so did the number of pedestrians and bicyclists.