Median U-turn causing confusion for Carroll County drivers

News 18 spoke to drivers and the sheriff about what some consider a confusing addition on the Hoosier Heartland.

Posted: Aug 30, 2019 7:30 AM
Updated: Aug 30, 2019 7:31 AM

CARROLL COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — The solution to a dangerous Carroll County intersection has people wondering if it was the right move.

"They're obviously going to have problems at first, and there's people going to be making mistakes on it," said Carroll County resident Kevin Beard.

J-turn, median U-turn or "Michigan Left," no matter what you call it, the new addition at the intersection of State Road 25 and County Road 800 West in Carroll County has people talking.

"It can cause quite some issue," said resident Alicia Harding. "Especially when you're trying to just get across."

But for Harding, the U-turn causes some scary moments while driving home from her second shift job.

"At night it gets pretty dark in that area," said Harding. "It gets confusing to see what turn you want to go onto."

As we've previously reported, the intersection's history of serious crashes led the Indiana Department of Transportation to add the U-Turn. Sheriff Tobe Leazenby said he doesn't know if it will make the area safer.

"Traffic going north or south could easily be traveling anywhere from 60 miles an hour, up," said Leazenby. "I do have concerns as to how individuals will approach this."

Here's how it works. To turn right onto County Road 800 West, northbound drivers on State Road 25 must merge into a left turn lane.
Then, they make a u-turn onto State Road 25 South before being able to make the right turn onto 800 West.
If it sounds confusing, Harding said you should try it a night.

"We were going about five to ten miles an hour trying to find the actual opening for that turn," said Harding.

That confusion, has Leazenby worried.

"The concern is the vehicle making that acceleration back into the flowing traffic," said Leazenby. "That may be the scenario where a crash may occur."

For now, drivers are just going to have to get used to the change.

"It is obviously a busy highway," said Beard. "You know, if they're trying to do something, that's better than doing nothing."

Crews are still putting the finishing touches on the project. INDOT spokesperson Adam Parkhouse said work should wrap up in the next couple of weeks.

He added the public input played a big role in the decision, and said U-turns are a proven way to lower the number of crashes.

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