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Town installs right-turn arrow


Right-on-red turners rejoice.

Farragut has added a green right turn arrow to the Smith Road at Kingston Pike intersection to alert drivers to an already-existing protected right turn.

Drivers on Smith Road turning right onto Kingston Pike (going west) will see the green arrow while cars along the Pike are turning left onto Smith.

All other traffic, in those few seconds, is stopped, making that right turn a “protected” right turn, says Town Engineer Darryl Smith.

“The whole point of it is to allow a protected right turn. When people are on Kingston Pike making that left, there is no conflict with the right turn,” he said.


“So there’s really no reason to make them stop and have to look. That way they don’t have to stop at the light,” he added.

But that green arrow “only comes on during the Kingston Pike left turn,” Smith made sure to say.

In other words, if you don’t have the green arrow or a green light, you will have a red light.

And as always, drivers may turn right on red lights only after stopping behind the white line.

Photo Enforcement Manager Ben Harkins said the green arrow likely would decrease the number of incidents for drivers running the red light during right turns on red.

“It’s in place now, which will reduce the number of violations at that intersection,” Harkins said.

“They do have a protected turn. They now have a green arrow to go with that.

“Certainly, it was the right thing to do,” Harkins said of the change.

“It’s not about trying to get violations. It’s all to get safe traffic flow,” he added.

“This will reduce the number of violations,” Smith agreed, but “it will also drop the congestion a little bit.”

“There’s some people that will stop at the red light, and they don’t just stop, look and pull on out. They will stop and wait for a green light, period.

“So it backs up a little more than it did,” Smith said.

“This will hopefully allow more people to make that turn, reduce the congestion and reduce violations at the same time,” he added.

Smith stressed the timing on the signals was not changed at all since the protected turn has always existed; a green arrow has merely been added.

 

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