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A resident asks: I'm wondering what is considered when the city decides to put a left turn arrow on some intersections but not others. Is there an exact number of cars that try to turn left that needs to happen? I always find it strange that there isn't an arrow to turn from Calhoun Road onto Civic Drive to get to Ruby Isle.
Answer: No, there is not an exact number of cars that must be utilizing a left turn in order for an arrow to be considered necessary.
City of Brookfield Director of Public Works Tom Grisa says that there are many factors that go into evaluating an intersection.
'We evaluate the predominant traffic movements. You only get so much time for the intersection and you have to divy that up,' Grisa said. 'If you have just one left-turner that has to wait until all the through-traffic goes through, then they can get delayed. But if you've got 20 and you can only get one through and people have to wait four or five cycles, then obviously we need to do something.'
In regard to the Calhoun-Civic intersection, Grisa says that the city has not observed a need for a left turn arrow at the intersection.
'We have not seen that that is something that is backing traffic up or causing people to have to wait through multiple cycles,' Grisa said. 'You want to serve the needs of the many rather than the needs of just the few.'
Grisa says that the city's process for evaluating intersections includes traffic engineers going out and doing traffic counts during high-traffic times of day and comparing the number of vehicles making one movement comapred to another.
'There's not a rule of thumb that says 'If you've got three left-turners you always have an arrow' or 'If you've got 20 left-turners you always have an arrow,'' Grisa said.
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