Published On: Fri, Dec 13th, 2013

No left turn experiment ends

On Dec. 9, Lewisburg Mayor John Manchester announced on his Facebook page that the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDH) was taking down the no-left-turn (NLT) signs in downtown Lewisburg. He said the traffic study was complete and a press release by WVDH explains why the signs had proven ineffective at reducing congestion.

About 100 people had expressed to him that they were for the NLT signs at the downtown intersection of route 219 and Route 60. No one had spoken to him about not wanting to continue NLT.

The subsequent WVDH press release via Steven B. Cole, District 9 Engineer said the study had been proposed by the City of Lewisburg in an effort to ease congestion during peak traffic hours.

During the study, between the hours of 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m., WVDH conducted traffic counts for traffic flow. The press release says, “No significant improvement came from NLT.” It also stated that comments both for and against the prohibition were noted and considered.

turn sign

Please check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/14544437@N07/5049467442 to find out how to attribute this image

During the study, between the hours of 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m., WVDH conducted traffic counts for traffic flow. The press release says, “No significant improvement came from NLT.” It also stated that comments both for and against the prohibition were noted and considered.

Finally, the press release states, “Due to no significant improvement to traffic flow and a lack of alternative routes for detoured motorists, the WVDH has determined that left turn prohibition is not warranted.”

The signs are gone. There is no wording as to whether or not this study would also end using NLT signage to keep traffic moving during Fair Week or the Greenbrier Classic.

Manchester disagreed with the study conclusion. Other Facebook users made statements both pro and con. There was a lot of hyperbole, but also some clear reasoning. Smooth Ambler’s John Little says, “In a city even as small as Lewisburg, you want people that don’t know the streets on the main path. That’s for business benefit and safety. If you can’t take a left at Randolph or Foster Street, downtown becomes not so easy to get to.” Meaning that distractions like this keep people from businesses every day.