Right on red allowed at Bullsboro, bypass

by Sarah Fay Campbell


Both right turn lanes from Bullsboro onto the Hwy. 34 Bypass have opened, and motorists are allowed to turn right on red after all. The Georgia Department of Transportation had said there would be no right turns on red, but officials have decided to give it a try. 

The Georgia Department of Transportation has decided to try something different at the intersection of Bullsboro Drive and the Hwy. 34 Bypass. The dual right turn lanes onto the Millard Farmer Industrial Boulevard section of the bypass from west-bound Bullsboro opened last week — but without the restrictions the GDOT had originally indicated would be there.

In late May, GDOT traffic officials said that, once the second right turn lane was opened, motorists would no longer be able to turn right on red. Instead, it had been planned that drivers would have to wait for a green light, regardless of whether it was clear to turn or not.

Right turns would be allowed when the rest of the lanes had green lights, as well as when traffic turning left onto Bullsboro from the bypass had a green arrow.

The reason for the previously-proposed "no right turn on red" was that it can be confusing and dangerous when there are two lanes of traffic going in the same direction.

But in the last few months, GDOT officials changed their minds, and decided to allow right turns on red after all — from both lanes.

District traffic operations personnel explained.

"Our district had not allowed this dual right movement in the past unless there was a concrete, banana- shaped island separating the two," said GDOT region spokeswoman Kimberly Larson.

However, dual right turns on red are allowed in the "Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices." That's the federal standard for all traffic signs, signal and pavement markings.

Since the turn is allowed in the MUTCD, and not allowing right turns on red leads to less efficient traffic flow, “we have decided to try allowing both lanes to yield," Larson said.

If there are problems, the decision can be revisited. There is a single five-section light head that controls both lanes. With the five-section head, there is no need to have a separate light for each turn lane, Larson said.

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