So, after making the trip from Leland and back, there's a few really obvious things that should have been done:
Onramp to 74 East from Leland... That has been a disaster since NCDOT made two left turn lanes that immediately merge to one lane ON A RAMP. Whoever did this was totally incompetent. It's always a breeding groud for road rage.
Two left turn lanes.
Now, get over quick or race to the front of the merging traffic:
For bridge closure, they should have blocked one of these lanes. People were racing in front of those that were merging like civilized people. You basically have four lanes trying to squish into two at that onramp.
Three miles of "left lane closed ahead", and a quarter mile to actually force people into the right line:
What actually happens is a two and 3/4 mile long line of people waiting to move in the right lane, while others go racing up in the left lane to that quarter mile forced merge. One you get on 421, there's no backup until you get to the right turn for Isabel Holmes. What they should have done is simply directed cars to the TWO LANES that are the 421 north onramp instead of forcing everyone to merge to a singe lane, only to open it up again to the two lane onramp. Again, NCDOT doesn't think or plan, they just say "we're gonna". Or, do they just leave it up to their incompetent contractors.
Note the four lanes for 421 North. The lane closure barrels are from that wonderful bridge painting project that went on for forever. BTW: We never did hear what they ended up fining the contractor.
Now, why was the traffic on third st. heading for Isabel Holmes so horribly backed up? The traffic signal at 421 and 133 - AKA: Isabel Holmes.
So, you've got a line of cars making the right turn onto Isabel Holmes, along with all the cars trying to beat the long line, and squish into the right lane at the last second. Now, the vehicle detector loop (for the signal) sees cars on 421 North at that Intersection. Guess which road has priority? 421. That means that the light stays green on 421 north even though there's very few cars actually passing through the Intersection. The cars coming over the bridge wanting to turn left on 421 south can't because the light is red. The ones trying to turn right onto the bridge are backed up because the traffic is backed up on 3rd street from the cars that cant turn left on 421 south.
Ok, finally that light turns green, but since the traffic that wants to turn left there is much heavier than what has been accounted for in the normal timing of the light, AND there's vehicle calls coming from the 421 north side of the intersection, you get about a 30 second green for the traffic turning left onto 421 south. Of course, this little screw-up backs traffic up all the way over the bridge, and through downtown despite there being no significant delays from the Intersection south on 421.
The solution: temporarily change the mainline (sorry, technical term for "the road that should have more traffic") to be the road from Isabel Holmes bridge instead of 421 and / or, figure out what more reasonable timing should be.
WWAY... Why don't you go out there tomorrow and take a look at the specific issues I mentioned, beat up on NCDOT on Monday for being stupid. Just think what we are in for when they start replacing the bridges on 74/76.....
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