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Road Sage for October 22, 2011

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Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Motorists face a minor dilemma at the intersection of St. Joe and St. Joe Center roads. Stop fully, or yield and drive on?

Stop or yield at dual-marked intersection? Well, it depends

Two traffic devices at a single intersection can be confusing, so I try to explain how to handle the situation.

Q. Would you please explain the yield signs at the intersection of St. Joe and St. Joe Center roads? My friend thinks that if he is turning, he does not have to come to a complete stop at the intersection when the light is red, because of the yield signs. – Laurie Howard

A. Well Laurie, your friend is right.

Shan Gunawardena, city traffic engineer, said at intersections where the right-turn lane is channeled through to the crossing road, the movement is typically controlled by a yield or stop sign.

This turn is not controlled by the signal, and instead is controlled by the yield sign. This dictates you slow down to ensure safe passage, but it does not require you to come to a full stop.

There is a similar situation at turning right from Bluffton Road to eastbound Airport Expressway. I didn’t stop at the yield sign and was pulled over by a city police officer. Fortunately, the police agree with our traffic engineer, for after I noted there was a yield sign, I was not cited.

Peat pressure

The orange barrels on the infamous peat section of Indiana 14 have been removed from the center lane and now a crane and large trucks sit nearby.

Toni Mayo, spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Transportation, said a contractor milled the surface on Illinois Road and installed new asphalt to allow for snow plowing this winter. This doesn’t mean the problems in the area are fixed, however.

In 2009, crews discovered a large area of peat that ran dozens of feet deep in some areas near Carnegie Boulevard, just west of Interstate 69. The soft, organic black dirt was unsuitable for building and dealing with it added about $4 million in cost to the Illinois Road widening project. Mayo said repairs are now being made in the area to the existing storm sewer pipes.

Additionally, the state is taking samples to determine a solution, which is to be determined before the next construction season. For the time being, the state believes the road is safe for travel.

Railroad dangers

Security officers with Norfolk Southern Railway this week stopped by to discuss the dangers of trespassing on railroad tracks. According to the company, 451 people were killed and 383 injured nationwide in 2010 as the result of trespassing.

In Fort Wayne, there were 53 trespassing reports, including one injury. Walking on the tracks is not only dangerous, it is illegal.

So I offer this as a simple reminder: Stay off the tracks.

Radio Sage

This week’s audio sage question comes from Roger and Sue Grossnickle of Hoagland. They asked about line painting on county roads. The segment originally aired Friday afternoon on WOWO and can be found online at www.journalgazette.net/roadsage.

Road Sage provides transportation knowledge, solves driving dilemmas and answers construction conundrums. It appears every Saturday. Email your questions to roadsage@jg.net.

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