Letter — Danger in Round Hill
February 12, 2003
There is an intersection in town that is an accident waiting to happen. I’m speaking of the corner of Highway 50 and West Elks Point Road in Zephyr Cove, near Round Hill.
Last summer the lanes on West Elks Point Road, on the lake side of Highway 50, were redone. The first time I sat in the left-hand turn lane, which is also the straight-ahead lane, waiting to cross the highway and proceed up toward Round Hill, I thought, “this is insane.” To go straight ahead there means you have to make a right hand jog around traffic opposite you trying to turn left, from Round Hill onto Highway 50. Of course, straight-ahead traffic has the right-of-way over left-hand turners. But you’d be taking your life in your hands to proceed as though you had this right. The lanes are not aligned. They are confusing and downright dangerous.
Add to this confusion a bike lane. It travels along the right hand side of West Elks Point Road, as the cyclists come from Nevada Beach toward Highway 50. Half a block before the highway, this bike lane dives into the middle of the road, between the right and left lanes. If I were a biker, even wearing the best helmet made, I’d never try to bike across Highway 50 here. With three lanes of traffic dodging, weaving and trying to figure out who goes where, the poor biker won’t stand a chance.
I understand an NDOT official maintains their new lanes are “in compliance.” I’m sure that will be most reassuring to every poor driver and biker who tries to maneuver these lanes this summer and finds himself slammed into.
Someone at NDOT did not think this situation through. I wouldn’t humiliate this person by asking him to identify himself. I would simply suggest that NDOT fix the situation as soon as possible.
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