I’m not the only one who hopes they get this exit straightened out before we have to read in the paper that a tragic “accident” has taken place at the intersection of James St. and Grant Blvd. Call it an accident and it seems the hand of God is in play. But even mere mortals can tell this exit at Walgreens isn’t going to work. Fact is, we knew it back on December 14, 2005, when I first put this on the Walkable Eastwood website:
See the little words “illegal left turn” in there? Yep – been there since 2005. See the arrows in the street that clearly show this is a one-way? It’s one-way for a good reason: you have to circle around the monument park. It’s the only traffic pattern that makes any sense here.
I have to wonder if New York State, owner of James Street, knows that Walgreens has painted arrows that direct traffic to turn left illegally, directly into a pile of traffic turning right from James onto Grant, which here is a one-way block going the other way – to the right. See the truck below? It has just turned from James onto Grant. No wiggle room. What if that were a bicycle ridden by a 12-year-old?
Did you see the new traffic signal and directional signs? Keep them in mind – we’ll see them a little later in this post.
Here’s what you see exiting from Eastwood Rd. onto Grant Blvd, right next to the Walgreens. Same little stretch of Grant. Hmm. One way. Does the new Walgreens exit mean the one-way status of this stretch is going to change? Are we going to have Eastwood Rd. traffic turning left here to get to James Street?
Now any traffic coming from Walgreens that wants to get onto James St. could do what everyone’s been doing at Eastwood Rd. all these years: just circle around the little park. You don’t see this kind of two-way nonsense at Grant and Butternut, do you?
From the intersection of Grant and James on the west end of the park, you have a choice: turn right or left.
But if you’re allowed to turn left out of Walgreens, do you get to turn either right or left onto James? There’s enough of a snarl there right now, dealing with existing traffic coming from Grant on the west side of the park. Do we need the same snarl coming from the intersection at the east side?
And when do pedestrians get to do anything in here? You’ve now got an added layer of wait time. So what does anyone, least of all Walgreens, gain from changing an existing and familiar counter-clockwise movement around the park into a two-way free-for-all?
How many more distractions – arrows going this way and that, new traffic patterns, new traffic signals – do we need to keep us from seeing the kid on the bike?
Now let’s get back to what should be a simple right turn from James, west-bound, onto Grant:
This shot was not taken from the Walgreens parking lot; it was taken from James Street. But who are those directional signs for? Wait ’til the traffic signals are working. You won’t know who they’re for, either. Actually, you might, but it takes only one person to be confused by them and turn right at the same moment that someone from the parking lot is turning left. Remember: no wiggle room here.
There’s no way I’d want to be a pedestrian in the middle of this. So much for Walkable Eastwood. Folks, keep your kids away from here until it’s done right.