What planning genius?
I would like to know who the traffic planning genius was that came up with the idea of making it illegal to turn left onto 18th Street off of Josephine Street. Obviously, it was someone who has very little knowledge of how traffic flows through the South Side Flats.
Josephine Street is an exceedingly useful thoroughfare for getting through the Flats easily and quickly. 18th Street is a vital option in avoiding the tunnels to access, not only Mt. Oliver, but all points south, including Route 51.
This “No Left Turn” order completely disrupts the easy and natural flow of traffic from Josephine onto 18th. Now, anyone coming across Josephine and wanting to turn up 18th Street must first turn right on 21st Street to a stop sign. Then turn left on Mary Street in front of the UPMC Mercy South Side facility (adding unwanted additional traffic through the hospital/patient area) to a stop sign at 20th Street. Then proceed on to another stop sign at 19th Street and then to 18th Street (yet another stop sign) where, finally, the motorist is able to turn left.
Heaven help the motorist who is not aware of the unnecessary restriction and drives all the way to 18th, only to find he has to turn right and go the wrong way, then find somewhere to turn around so as to end up going in the originally intended direction!
For those of us who live here and are familiar with the Slopes, there is another alternate route. One can turn up Barry Street (a very steep, narrow road with a dangerous curve), turn right onto Mission Street (a narrow two-way street) and access 18th that way. But these roads are much too narrow, and Barry much too steep, for regular traffic, let alone in the winter months when snow and ice create additional issues.
Although I’m sure it has happened, in the many years I have lived on the South Side, I have never seen an accident at this intersection. I have seen confusion at the confluence of the two roads, as there is a bit of an odd angle (as is so common in our great city) where they meet.
I would say by simply painting clear lane-dividing stripes and a “Stop Here” line, motorists would more clearly understand where their lane starts and stops, thereby avoiding “crossing over” into an oncoming car’s lane space. If there was a public hearing before this restriction was implemented, I was not aware.
Maybe another of my South Side neighbors has a better idea. Either way, this restriction should be lifted, and the natural flow of traffic restored.
South Side Flats