LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — If there was some fog in how to navigate J turns, look no further.
News 10’s spoke with Chad S., a citizen who is concerned about the safety of J-turns.
“It’s like some of the people making the J turns would kind of swing a little wide, meaning that they don’t go into the immediate lane; they go across two lanes, and then the person making their right turns onto Johnston Street,” said Chad S. “Usually, what we’ll have to do is we either have to not make the right or, as we’re making the right, if they swing wide, sometimes we have to go into the shoulder or speed up or slow down. So we avoid an accident.”
He said people who are making that J turns are trying to get over into the right lane to hurry up and make a right into one of the businesses. In other areas that have no light signals, he sees big trucks trying to make a J turn, and they go over two lanes.
Are J-turns allowed for U-turns? Safety Coordinator Ron Czajkowski answered yes.
“The proper way to navigate a J-turn is essentially like any other turn. When you enter the lane to make your J turn, whether it’s to a side street or to make the actual J turn a U-turn, you go from that lane to the nearest lane,” said Czajkowski. “Just like any other turning maneuver you would make. Obviously, this is going to be an exaggerated move if it’s not a regular passenger vehicle, but that’s the goal, and it’s to the closest lane possible way.”
He explains how there was a realization there was an unacceptably high number of serious injuries and fatal crashes along certain intersections of 167, which is Johnson Street between Lafayette and Maurice and possibly beyond.
“Once the numbers supported the change, this countermeasure was put into place to take intersections that existed prior to the J turns, where you could literally drive across 167 or make a left turn from the side street onto 167,” he said. “It now forces you to be more engaged with driving and make an additional maneuver to make the turn you might want to make or to get to the other side of the road, but this is all done in the name of safety to reduce the number of serious injuries and fatal crashes.”
Furthermore, J-turns that don’t have a signal light to control the flow of traffic. The J-turn has a yield sign, and a side street that may meet a J-turn will have a stop sign.
“The person that has a stop sign has a greater responsibility to yield to oncoming traffic, which includes people executing their maneuver, whether it be a turn to the side street or a U-turn from the J turn lane, and then the next highest level of responsibility to yield would be the person that has the yield sign, and their obligation is to yield to traffic that is essentially on the main thoroughfare,” said Czajkowski.
He said the project along LA 167 had been a long-term project, and they have already seen some improvement in the data with regard to serious injuries and fatal crashes.
“As this gets further and further in our rearview mirror, these numbers should really reflect the intended outcome when it was decided to do this project. We should see a drastic reduction in the overall serious injuries and fatal crashes along this particular corridor,” he concluded.
If you have any questions or want to know more about road safety, contact Czajkowski at 337-806-9367 or email at email@example.com.