A Washington man wants more people to use the acceleration lane after making a right-hand turn out of Walmart.
Steve Weir met with the Washington Traffic Commission Friday to figure out ways to increase the usage of the lane on westbound Highway 100 at A Roy Drive. The commission agreed to discuss the issue further with the Missouri Department of Transportation since the lane is in states right of way.
Assistant City Engineer Andrea Lueken said she has been working with Weir for the past year on improving awareness for the acceleration lane. Weir said he’s a frequent visitor to Walmart and, when he needs to make a right turn onto Highway 100, often gets stuck in traffic.
Weir said he believes too many people don’t know there is a designated third lane along the stretch of Highway 100. He said he has seen too many people wait out oncoming traffic before turning into one of the two regular driving lanes.
Lueken said the issue has been brought up before to MoDOT. She said the city and MoDOT have worked together to make improvements including altering and enhancing the striping.
“We have exhausted all MoDOT methods,” she said.
The only option left on the table would be to have Walmart put up a sign, Lueken said. The issue with that is, the sign would have to go on private property and could not be in the MoDOT right of way. She said it was unlikely the sign would be visible from the intersection so she wasn’t sure how much good it would do.
Weir suggested a public service announcement on the city’s website that could also run in The Missourian.
The commission members were unsure what a PSA could say and if it would help.
The commission also cautioned Weir that driver’s were not doing anything wrong. Drivers often do what’s comfortable to them and sometimes that means waiting for traffic to clear instead of using the acceleration lane, board members said.
From a safety point of view, commission members said the acceleration lane is not very long and it’s probably better for drivers to wait on A Roy Drive for an opening instead of trying to force their way into an opening on Highway 100.
To address Weir’s concerns, the commission said it would go back to MoDOT. Police officer Mike Grissom said a PSA sounded like something MoDOT needed to hash out. Since it’s a MoDOT issue, any statement should come from MoDOT, he said.
The commission said it would discuss the issue further when it hears back from MoDOT.