What’s up with the lane configuration on Morrissey at Highway 1?, reader asks

     Dear Street Smarts,

     Q The Morrissey Boulevard exit from Northbound Highway 1 leads to a traffic light at Fairmount Avenue. Perhaps there is some logic in the way the lane configuration is currently set up at that intersection, but I fail to see it.

     The going forward lane is on the right while the left lane merges soon after crossing the intersection. This configuration encourages all drivers to wait at the light in the right lane, causing anyone who wants to make a right turn to wait for a green.

     What happened to "Right turn on red is OK after coming to a complete stop"?

     It would make more sense to me to move the merge lane to the right and route forward traveling traffic to the left lane there.

     When will this change take place?

     John Tabasz


     A The change you request probably isn’t going to happen.

     “Both approach lanes on the highway side of the signal are needed to stack traffic,” said Chris Schneiter with the city public works department.

      The two lanes also are needed “to reduce the possibility of a longer queue over the bridge,” as well as reduce the possibility of rear end collisions from traffic coming off the highway, he said.

     “With the curve and super elevation of the bridge (as you exit the highway and enter city streets), it’s difficult to see stopped traffic until you crest the bridge,” he said.

     As far as the merging of the lanes after cars disembark the bridge, Schneiter said, that’s based on the geometry of the street.

     The left lane ends, forcing cars to merge right because the median in the middle of the road gets rather large, “thus ending the left lane,” he said.

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