Road Runner

Road Runner: Indirect left to start Tuesday at Grant, Oracle roads; more planned

2013-10-21T00:00:00Z Road Runner: Indirect left to start Tuesday at Grant, Oracle roads; more plannedJoe Ferguson Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

There is a surprise waiting for commuters using Grant Road on Tuesday.

Another Michigan Left, which has  earned the scorn of many drivers on the northwest side, is scheduled to come on-line Tuesday at the intersection of North Oracle and East Grant roads .

For the uninitiated, an indirect-left turn requires drivers on Grant to go through the Oracle intersection to the next stoplight — one block down — where they can make a turn-arrow-protected U-turn before doubling back to Oracle and making a right turn.

The news gets worse for Grant Road commuters with long-term plans to stay here in Tucson.

A total of six, maybe seven, Michigan Lefts are planned for the corridor between Oracle and Swan roads.

Regional Transportation Services Director Jim DeGrood offers a single ray of hope for those who think replacing one left turn with a series of turns isn’t a good idea.

It will be two to three years before the next one comes online.

The next three intersections — Grant at Stone Avenue, Grant at First Avenue and Grant at Alvernon Way — are still on the drawing board.

It could take years for all necessary steps from design to securing the necessary right-of-way before the city and the Regional Transportation Authority are ready to begin construction.

The $2.1 billion, 20-year RTA plan calls for six indirect-left turns along Grant — at North Oracle, Stone, First, Campbell Avenue, Country Club Road and Alvernon Way.

The city has similar plans for Swan-Grant intersection, DeGrood says, but funding for this Michigan Left havs not been identified.

Traffic engineers say this type of intersection is valuable in keeping traffic moving through busy intersections, as it eliminates the time traffic is stopped in both directions to allow a handful of drivers to turn left.

One last tidbit for those living or working near the “Boneyard” at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base — DeGrood  says the RTA board is considering a Michigan Left turn at a rebuilt intersection at Kolb and Valencia roads .

He says a Michigan Left is one of several possible designs as the regional transportation board considers its options.

Road Q

Q: Roger Wakefield asks for a status update on resurfacing Thornydale Road from  Cortaro Road to Linda Vista.

A: Priscilla Cornelio, director for the Pima County Department of Transportation, says there are no plans to resurface the area.

“This segment is not scheduled for resurfacing at this time. However, the improvement project to widen and improve Thornydale Road from Cortaro Road to Linda Vista — that is scheduled for fiscal year 2017,” says Cornelio.

Down the Road

Crews with the Pima County Department of Transportation are expected to finish painting lane markers at the Oracle Road and Ina Road intersection by Wednesday morning.

Traffic is expected to be restricted at night until the striping is completed.

This morning, crews  will begin paving the east side of Romero Road from Roger Road to Wetmore Road.

Once this paving is complete, traffic will be shifted to the east side of the road, and crews will begin working on the west side of Romero.

Send your questions by email to roadrunner@azstarnet.com or to 4850 S. Park Ave., Tucson, AZ 85714. Please include first and last names.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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