Q. Can something be done to warn drivers eastbound on Oleander about the left-turn-only lanes as they approach South College Road?
A. In short, something already has been done.
At the intersection, drivers headed east on Oleander Drive see overhead signs, including a left arrow directing them to the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Below the sign, there are two, left-only turn lanes that take vehicles north on South College Road.
After getting complaints that drivers didn’t know both lanes were left-only, the N.C. Department of Transportation made a change in late 2011.
Essentially, the DOT moved the overhead sign directed drivers left toward UNCW from the inside left turn lane to the outside left turn lane, said George Eckart, a DOT assistant division traffic engineer.
“We had gotten some calls about this same topic and made some improvements and moved that sign to the right,” Eckart said. They can’t add another sign to that overhead structure because it is at capacity, he said.
Additionally, he said the DOT has put in additional pavement markings by adding the word “ONLY” with left-handed arrows as far away from the upcoming left turn as possible, he said.
Yet he has seen drivers wanting to stay on Oleander stop in the turn lane and try to get over.
“I know that it happens,” he said.
Short of redesigning the intersection, he said the DOT doesn’t have any more changes to make.
“I don’t know there’s a whole lot else we can do in this particular case to make that more clear given what we have to work with,” he said.
Date posted: October 21, 2013
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