City has too many dangerous U-turns

Published 7:00 am Friday, January 24, 2014

More and more drivers are having to make U-turns on Picayune’s streets.

As most drivers learn when they are studying for their driver’s license, U-turns are dangerous and in nearly all cases illegal. However, that must not be the case in Picayune because to get to many businesses or side roads going into subdivisions along Mississippi Highway 43 North, U-turns are necessary.

A relatively recently added U-turn on Miss. Hwy. 43N is at the entrance to Highland Commons Boulevard, a new road that was to provide quicker access to the new Highland Community Hospital.

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Drivers leaving the service station or the shopping center there wanting to go back towards Interstate 59 have to make a U-turn at the traffic signal at the intersection of Highland Commons and Miss. Hwy. 43N. This can be a particularly dangerous turn because it is protected only when the turn signal is on, but many drivers make the turn when the turn signal is off and they see no traffic coming in the other two lanes.

Miss. Hwy. 43N has a number of locations where drivers need to make U-turns if they are going one way and there is a location on the other side of the highway they wish to access. Memorial Boulevard and Goodyear Boulevard also require U-turns in many cases.

If U.S. Highway 11 is ever widened, particularly in the manner the Mississippi Department of Transportation now plans to do it too will require drivers to make U-turns to access locations on the other side of the highway.

When such U-turns are required on especially busy thoroughfares such as the two highways, a system of protected U-Turns should be established, such as those found on major streets in New Orleans.