Santa Ana Will Study ‘Dumb’ Lack of Left-Turn Signals
Dear Street Smart:
Just two signals north of you on Harbor and MacArthur boulevards is one of the most frustrating examples of traffic control ineptitude in Orange County. My guess is that you and many of your fellow workers at The Times may have been caught in this “Dumb and Dumber” left-turn nightmare when you have the occasion to shop at the newly expanded Home Depot store on one corner, or the Del Taco/Carl’s Jr. fast-food complex on the other corner.
The problem is the lack of left-turn signals on east-west MacArthur Boulevard at Harbor. Those of us who have businesses in the Harbor Business Park on that corner experience this maddening traffic control omission every working day.
Can you please ask the folks who should be handling this why we have east-west turn signals on the Harbor Boulevard corner, Sunflower, Lake Center, South Coast Drive and Segerstrom, when it is obvious that the thoroughfare with by far the most traffic, MacArthur Boulevard, has no such left-turn signals?
To add insult to injury, the brilliant folks who should have known better, just a month or so ago, had the audacity to put taxpayer money into an electronic surface street traffic control sign right in front of the Harbor Business Park entrance on westbound MacArthur Boulevard instead of first spending it on left-turn signals. Incredible!
Traffic engineers for Santa Ana will conduct a study within the next couple of months to see if they think left-turn signals are warranted on MacArthur Boulevard at Harbor. This intersection is just one of dozens in the city that will be examined to see if left turns or new signals are needed, said Albert Mesch, associate traffic engineer for Santa Ana.
It has been almost 10 years since this intersection was studied, according to traffic engineering records. However, no one has ever requested a left-turn signal there either.
The reason left-turn signals abound on the other streets you mentioned is they all lie in Costa Mesa.
Santa Ana engineers will explore the accident history, left-turn volumes and through traffic volumes of MacArthur Boulevard at Harbor, Mesch said. But don’t start clicking your left-turn indicator just yet.
Even if the intersection does merit left-turn signals, it must be given a priority on a list of projects. Even then, there is no guarantee that funding will be available, Mesch said.
If you want to keep tabs on the progress or lack thereof of this intersection, you are welcome to call Albert Mesch at his office at Santa Ana City Hall at (714) 647-5609.
Dear Street Smart:
A couple months ago, you responded to a letter concerning the opening of the extension of Imperial Highway through the Anaheim Hills to Villa Park Road/Santiago Canyon. At that time, the completion and the opening was scheduled to be accomplished by the end of December, 1994.
Since the road has as yet not opened, could you please provide an update for its completion?
Set your sights for early March and hope that Orange County has seen the last of its punishing rain. Wild January storms washed out some of the unfinished work on the Imperial Highway extension, delaying the opening, said Jim Devore, associate civil engineer for the city of Orange.
Portions of the extension project owned by Southern California Edison and a private developer need to have some curbs, gutters and sidewalk replaced, Devore said. Work crews that have been able to take advantage of the infrequent dry spells this month have put most of their efforts into erosion control measures, he said.
Dear Street Smart:
A long time ago you printed my letter about the lanes approaching John Wayne Airport as you exit MacArthur Boulevard. The problem was that the large overhead signs directing traffic did not agree with the arrows painted on the lanes.
In that column, Caltrans (officials) said they were going to fix it. Not so. It is still not done. Can you check on this again?
Daniel S. Connelly
The next time you go to John Wayne Airport, you should be pleasantly surprised. Caltrans finished fixing the signs at the MacArthur exit from the southbound San Diego Freeway on Dec. 2.
An additional overhead panel and advance roadside signs also were installed to end confusion. It was this extra work that caused the delay. Originally, Caltrans workers thought only a realignment of overhead signs was needed.
Street Smart appears Mondays in The Times Orange County Edition. Readers are invited to submit comments and questions about traffic, commuting and what makes it difficult to get around in Orange County. Include simple sketches if helpful. Letters may be published in upcoming columns. Please write to Caroline Lemke, c/o Street Smart, The Times Orange County, P.O. Box 2008, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Include your full name, address and day and evening phone numbers. Letters may be edited, and no anonymous letters will be accepted.