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It should be automatic to celebrate the quick and forthright repairs made to the intersection of U.S. 60 and KY 55, a problem area long before the opening of the Shelbyville Bypass and an excruciatingly worse one since.
State transportation officials responded purposefully to the public outcry generated through these pages and escalated with the firm voices of state Rep. Brad Montell (R-Shelbyville) and retired state Sen. Gary Tapp (R-Shelbyville).
They provided in a reasonably timely manner a plan for new turn lanes, new arrows, new signs and promises of better traffic flow from the eternally troublesome backup of westbound U.S. 60 onto KY 55 south, which sometimes snaked hundreds of yards up the hill toward Shelbyville.
Yes, this would be an automatic celebration, but, like the improvements in the intersection, it is not so simple to do so without some question about good aspects of the intersection that were lost with these changes.
For instance, those two new left-turn lanes are great, but they come with the loss of the opportunity to turn left on green after the arrows.
We sort of understand that where there are dual lanes, but what we don’t understand is the loss of the same liberty with the new left-turn arrows onto U.S. 60 from northbound and southbound KY 55.
Because of that change – or perhaps we should say lack of change – these signals actually can inhibit traffic flow and create worse problems, because the improvements limited the opportunity to make the turn and because the left-turn arrows do not automatically activate.
Have you noticed that a vehicle arriving at that signal could sit through at least one full light sequence in light traffic? Sometimes it requires more than one cycle.
Oh, and one more thing, turning east on U.S. 60 from southbound KY 55 remains a problem since the swooping merge lane was inexplicably removed.
But, as we often are told here in Kentucky, we guess we shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
At least we can move toward I-64 now without having to wait for someone to turn into a business along the way.