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Driver confusion persists at 12th and Ryan Streets

Updated: Jul. 22, 2019 at 7:03 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -If you are westbound on 12th Street, do you know which lane you now belong in once you get to Ryan Street?

It seems many people don't.

It's never a good idea to be sitting on the railroad tracks, especially if a train is coming.

That's why a change was made here on Sallier, which is 12 Street east of Ryan. Two lanes were converted to one, so cars would not be on the tracks when a train comes.

Tammy York is with Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development which studied the area.

“Having motorists sitting, that’s an active railroad track, so trains do pass on that railroad track and so, when we looked at that intersection and saw that kind of safety concern, we removed the motorist from that lane. And so, now they all share through lane to go through, to make your left turn to make your right turn,” said York.

“You're no longer sitting on top of a train track. Kind of removes you from that space. So, the likelihood of you unexpectedly seeing a train and being in the way is no longer an issue,” she said.

So, those making a left and those going straight are to use the same lane, but it seems a lot of people don’t realize that. Others, who do understand how it works, complain of traffic backing up due to only one lane..

“Anything new like that is going to take an adjustment, but once you have fellow motorists using a lane that no longer is a left turn lane, that is an important enforcement issue. And so that would be something that falls under local law enforcement,” she said..

Lake Charles Police say, for now, they are only giving warnings until people get used to the new markings.

The work was finished June 19, according to a DOTD news release. The DOTD is now working on signal improvements at the intersection.

To figure out how to interpret any changes in stripes, signs or signals DOTD officials say there is information on their web site.

We also have a video helping to explain changes on 12th Street.

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