Dear editor,

In a letter I published in the April 30 edition (Three-lane East Main a bad idea), I presented an argument that your editorial board’s endorsement of a proposed conversion of East Main Street from the current four lanes a three-lane route, with one lane dedicated for each east and west traffic and a center lane for left-turning vehicles, was a bad idea.

I read a few days ago where your board once again endorsed this proposal. Noticeable, however, was your board’s failure to address a single one of the concerns noted in my original letter.

• East Main Street has a series of utility construction/repair or repaving projects underway. Decreasing the number of lanes around these projects would only serve to exacerbate the left-turn problem.

• I imagine an ongoing series of traffic accidents whereby motorists traveling from opposite directions attempt to simultaneously enter the left-turning lane, resulting in head-on collisions, which would not only shut down all traffic but impair the ability of first responders to arrive at the scene because of the resulting traffic jams.

• It would also double the amount of traffic in each remaining lane. Traffic would significantly slow down, if not come to a stop, whenever a lead car in the remaining lane attempts to make a right turn, resulting in a right-turn problem impacting more motorists than the current left-turn problem.

• It would take many months of significant traffic delays while this conversion takes place.

• The proposal calls for the creation of bike lanes. East Main Street is one of the most heavily trafficked thoroughfares in the city. If bike lanes were created, it is not a matter of if, but when, a bicyclist is injured or killed.

There are two primary locations where left-turn traffic presents a problem — across from the Kentucky State University campus and the Schenkel Lane intersection. In both cases, staying in the right lane will get you past both potential logjams.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet staff cited a significant reduction in the number of traffic accidents along East Main if this proposal were to be implemented. In my opinion, the concerns noted above outweigh any anticipated benefits.

Once again I suggest this appears to be a classic case of where the proposed “cure” is in fact far worse than the disease itself.

Randy Oliver


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