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KSL navigates 'tricky traffic' locations along Wasatch Front

By Dave McCann and Candice Madsen | Posted - Apr 4th, 2013 @ 10:47pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — Red, yellow, green; we've got those signals down. But what about these ThrU-turns, CFIs and roundabouts?

All over the state, the Utah Department of Transportation has used new and innovative methods to meet transportation demands. But KSL News found a few spots where drivers are still confused by the changes.

1300 East exit off I-80 Eastbound

At the 1300 East exit off of I-80 Eastbound, some drivers are thrown by the light next to the yield sign. Do they have to stop?

"They don't need to stop," said Salt Lake police detective Dennis McGowan.

Still, we found quite a few drivers who did stop, or simply slowed down thinking they had to yield to traffic. But this is a continuous-flow lane, meaning a stop is not necessary.

12300 South and State Street

Now we head south to one of the most congested areas in the state: 12300 South and State Street.

This intersection is called a ThrU-turn. Instead of turning left at the intersection, drivers proceed through and make a U-turn at a designated turning point, wait briefly at a signal and then turn right.

From Chopper 5's aerial view it seems simple; on the ground, however, it's a bit more confusing. Watching from UDOT's Traffic Control Operations Center, we saw countless drivers who didn't stay in the correct lane.

"With any new concept, it takes a little while to grasp it," said Robert Miles, UDOT Traffic Operations engineer.

This area definitely takes some getting used to, but Miles said it's been worth it. "We've seen more traffic come through the area. About 10 percent more traffic per day goes through there, and we have a lot less congestion," he said.

3500 South and Bangerter Highway

Another spot of confusion: Continuous-flow interchanges. UDOT put in the first CFI at 3500 South and Bangerter Highway in 2008.

"We came back and studied and found we had reduced crashes on 3500 South in that area by 60 percent," Miles said.

Safety and decreasing delays are the goals of all of these innovations. To learn more about these "tricky traffic" innovations and how they work, click on the extra videos clips above.

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