Crews were out Friday morning reconfiguring lanes at the roundabout at Woodbury Drive and Bailey Road in Woodbury.
The changes are being made for east-west traffic along Bailey Road (County 18), where approaches will be restriped so through traffic uses the left lane only.
The right-hand lane will be designated for right turns onto Radio Drive only, meaning cars will no longer be able to go straight from that lane.
North-south approaches along Radio Drive (County 13) will remain the same. Left turners must always keep to the left, and those making right turns must always keep to the right. Also, drivers must yield to all cross traffic regardless of lane position.
The changes are being made to provide more consistency with the new roundabouts at the Woodbury Drive expansion project and to reduce fender-benders, said Joe Gustafson, Washington County transportation engineer.
The most common crashes at the roundabout occur from the additional through lane on Bailey Road.
Traffic growth also hasn’t increased with the pace officials initially anticipated, Gustafson said.
“We have more lanes than we need,” he said.
The new configuration should handle traffic growth for the next 7-10 years, according to Washington County’s Roundabout U page.
According to the website, benefits of the reconfiguration include:
- Better consistency with the roundabouts being constructed on Woodbury Drive (County Highway 19), both of which will have only one through lane for east‐west traffic.
- Simplified decision‐making for drivers and consistency with the rest of Bailey Road.
- Elimination of the incentive to use the roundabout as a place to pass slower vehicles.
- Prevention of “improper lane use” crashes, in which a driver tries to make a left turn from the right‐hand lane. Flexible delineators will physically prevent this movement, which has always been unlawful.
- Prevention of “failure to yield” crashes, in which entering drivers, in the right‐hand lane, mistakenly believe that they can “merge” alongside cross traffic that is using the left lane. This scenario is eliminated for all approaches under the new configuration.
- Elimination of the bottlenecks on the Bailey Road exits as the two exit lanes merge back down to one lane.
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