Lafayette Drivers Chime in On Johnston Street ‘J’-Turns
We asked; you answered. And most of you weren't happy.
Johnston Street, south of Lafayette, has been undergoing construction for a number of months now. As with any "improvement" project, some temporary inconveniences are realized, along with some permanent changes, giving us lots to gripe about.
One of the changes associated with the construction on Johnston Street (Highway 167) is the addition of "J"-turns. Several of them are being installed, replacing the crossovers between the northbound and southbound lanes.
Maybe the biggest change to the flow of traffic is the elimination of the Johnston Street crossover from E. Broussard Road to W. Broussard Road. From my understanding, traffic will no longer be able to cross over Johnston Street at that intersection and must turn right onto Johnston Street, and then turn left via "J"-turn, and then turn right to continue their Broussard Road journey.
What prompted us to ask about the construction on Johnston Street was a post on the Nextdoor App. One user is not at all in favor of improving Johnston Street and is encouraging everyone to petition our parish president to stop the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development's project. He wants to return Johnston Street to its former glory.
In the post, the Nextdoor user claims that the "J"-turns have "caused many accidents through this unplanned disaster". I don't know the crash statistics of Johnston Street, but, historically, "J"-turns have minimized crashes, and greatly reduced fatality "T-Bone" crashes (according to the Missouri Department of Transportation).
I also don't know if the Nextdoor user's plea for a petition will gain any traction, but I applaud him for using his rights as a citizen to attempt that feat.
It seems that many people are not happy with the J-turns being installed on Johnston Street (and the construction, in general).
Krystin sees that the J-turns work for Highway 90 in Broussard, but they don't work for Johnston Street, saying that they cause more traffic than before.
Also, Callie brings up a good point: why can't you turn left on red at a J-turn? I agree with you, Callie: that's one thing about them on Highway 90 that gets under my skin.
Ivy thinks that the plan is already "a fail". I'm willing to allow the construction to come to completion before judging, as I think that the psychological aspect (hating construction/change) might influence my judgment.
Felicia and Lisa have sworn off Johnston Street!
I can understand that thought: "It's my way or the highway!!". (Pun intended).
Scrolling down some, we find more people who are not happy about the new J-turns on Johnston Street mixed in with a few who are "ok" with it:
I agree: construction is a mess. On dry days, the dust from the dirt/concrete work, and on wet days, the mud from the dirt/concrete work. Having to go slower in the construction zone, having to watch for trucks entering the highway, having to maneuver lane shifts... it is all aggravating. But like anything else in life, should we wait to see how things when we come out on the other side of the changes? I think so.
As I scroll through the comments, I am seeing something else emerge that I hadn't considered before: maybe people don't like them because they don't know how to use them??
Paul thinks that the improvements will make things easier. He also mentions that people don't follow traffic laws here.
Tim knows the purpose of the J-turns: safety. He also has empathy for those who have lost loved ones on Johnston Street. Then he makes a comparison that makes tons of sense: J-turns are like roundabouts: people who hate them don't know how to use them.
Dina agrees: "Hate - no one knows how to use them".
Dina, that was concise and to the point.
Here's another "people don't use them correctly", and a legitimate complaint about people abusing cut-throughs and subdivisions:
Lisa says that she quit shopping at stores in that area due to the inconvenience. Lisa, it's times like these that those local vendors NEED YOU THE MOST.
As with most issues that people gripe about on social media, someone chimes in with a voice of reason. That voice in this instance happens to be one Tyrelle Daly:
Tyrelle's voice is one of experience, as she has been living in the area being discussed for over 4 decades. She concedes that the construction of the J-turns is a "big old mess", but then makes the point that should hit home: "in the end they will be much safer for everyone and better control of traffic flow".
Can we judge how much safer things will be before the project is completed? Actually, yes, we can. All we have to do is a quick Google search, and the answer is in black and white.
If, of course, you trust the science.
Now, where is my tin foil hat? I am going to read the comments...
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