Why Are You Turning Left All Alone from the Right Lane?
If you are turning left, and you're the only one at an intersection, why are you in the right lane? Why did the city allow this? Why do I feel like I'm in traffic with discourteous 3rd-grade drivers most days?
In 2018 the city decided to make the right lane at the bottom of I-229 off-ramps into "do whatever you want" lanes. So if you get into the right lane at the northbound exit to Cliff Avenue, you can go right, left, or straight. That means drivers who are going left have two options, neither of which can be used on the red light. However, if you were turning right, you could turn right on red. But not if the car in front of you, for reasons known only to them, are turning left. People who do this drive me and my wife crazy.
My wife encountered this car this morning. They had their turn signal on to go left, all alone in the right lane. Maybe they were going to Lincoln High School. With little traffic a lane change was completely possible, unlike at 5:00 pm when it would be more understandable if the school was your destination. But if the destination was Lewis Drug at 10th and Cliff, my brain starts to itch.
Why the priority on going left has been so emphasized I do not know. The same setup is at the Minnesota Avenue exit as well. There are lots of homes in both directions from either exit. Having sat in line there multiple times, it has done nothing to alleviate congestion. But I can't exactly say the old way is better and that has nothing to do with city traffic planning.
The average person who gets to the bottom of this off-ramp will refuse to turn right on red until they can cross the right lane and turn into the far, left lane. This is because drivers in Sioux Falls are scared of changing lanes and using turn signals. About a half-mile south of here, Cliff Avenue shrinks down to one lane going south. This means the entire right lane from I-229 to 49th Street is wide open and no one is using it, except me and a few other people who understand how to zipper merge. So the driver who is sitting there waiting for both southbound lanes of Cliff Avenue to be clear is holding up traffic just as long as the right-lane-left-turner.
Having complained about all of this, I'm just going to keep driving with the mentality of getting along with everyone else. Not treating it like a race, or like someone is trying to take my "spot" in line. If someone turns on a their blinker to change lanes in front of me, I'm going to let off the gas and make room for them. You know why? Because that's what people who know how to drive in a city do.