Friday, January 29, 2010

MODOT loves the European way

Someone in the Missouri Department of Transportation must have taken a trip to Europe and decided the Show-Me State needed to be a little more Contintenal. A few years back, the damnable rotaries or roundabouts started springing up in the state; we've even got one of the devilish things in Rolla.

Now, we're getting something else, the "diverging diamond."

The USA Today rag had this to say:

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The right way to make a left turn just might be to briefly drive on the opposite side of the road.

After years of traffic backups and accidents involving motorists trying to turn left at a popular intersection here, state transportation officials think they have found the solution in a new kind of highway interchange called the "diverging diamond" that is now getting serious looks from several other states.

Missouri unveiled the nation's first such interchange last June at the intersection of Missouri 13 and Interstate 44. It is designed to move traffic more efficiently by giving left-turning cars uninterrupted, or "free" access to the highway through their own ramps by channeling traffic, temporarily, to the opposite side of the road, said Don Saiko of the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Did you catch that? It makes you drive on the wrong side of the road temporarily. Wonderful idea. Just brilliant. Won't lead to accidents. Oh, no. Of course not.

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