There are several roads in New Orleans that need improvement, and the one brought to top attention is the intersection Palmetto at Carrollton, New Orleans, LA.
The issue at hand is what lane do you turn into. Generally accepted practice is that the nearest lane turns into the nearest available lane. The difference here is that there are two lanes. Begging the question, where does the second lane turn to? Typically if I am in the second turning lane, I give as much room as possible to the first lane i.e. I’ll space it out one lane (or half a lane) so that people who can’t get entirely into the first lane while turning don’t hit me, yet not all the way to the far end so as to allow left turning vehicles coming from the other direction to turn.
That leads to confusion here. While there is a shoulder, right turning vehicles in the right most lane of Palmetto jut out into the second right most lane on Carrollton. I have tried turning from both lanes. When in the right most lane, I have trouble getting into the second right most lane to get onto the Interstate heading west. However, when in the second right most lane on Palmetto, I also have trouble getting into the second right most lane to get onto the Interstate heading west–because those in the right most lane randomly fill both lanes. Thus I end up turning at the sharp corner where people would go when heading south on Carrollton and are turning to get on the westbound Interstate.
I have called the city of New Orleans traffic engineering department this week, and they have said that they have had complaints before, and would have to get with the company they contract line painting to in order to see if they have the budget for it. My question is why wasn’t the line painted when Carrollton was redone. They took it to the base in many areas to build up a good base before resurfacing and relining–much of it with additional lines for bike traffic.
My suggestion, would be to have the right lane go to the first two full lanes plus the shoulder. This way all interstate traffic should be in the right lane. Why? First, because we want to encourage the ability for vehicles to drive fast enough to clear out the area from the Washington St. split to Carrollton, and at that speed we already see vehicles going partially into the second lane. Second, according to the wear visible in the image, a majority of the traffic in the right lane is already going only to the interstate, and the next lane in is mostly going strait across Carrollton. Thus any traffic going to Carrollton is minimal and can split between the shortest of the two right turning lanes.