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Driving You Crazy: Why do drivers on southbound Sheridan between 53rd and 52nd cut through the low median?

It isn’t a turn lane, and it disrupts traffic
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Posted at 5:44 AM, Jul 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-26 08:19:53-04

Rebecca from Westminster writes, “What’s driving you crazy? On southbound Sheridan between 53rd and 52nd, there is a very low median that drivers crossover to turn left into the plaza on the east side. Is this okay? It isn’t a turn lane and it disrupts traffic. There is a light ahead of this trouble spot that would get people to the plaza.”

No, Rebecca, that gap in the low median is not designed for left turning drivers to get to that shopping plaza. The Colorado Department of Transportation confirmed a small section of the raised median was cut away on purpose so maintenance workers could maintain access to the manhole cover, part of which was covered under that section of the median.

That cut in the median is what allows drivers to sneak through the gap and make the left into the shopping center parking lot, but CDOT said this gap is not intended for turning vehicles.

“No, using that cut in the median to cross over northbound Sheridan is not OK,” said Sgt. Adam Sherman with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office.

Sherman said he’s not aware of any deputies writing citations in that area, nor is there a history of complaints to where using that cut in the median would be considered a known problem. There is a section of Colorado Revised Statute, CRS 42-4-1010, that might address this issue reading, “(2) (a) No person shall drive a vehicle onto or from any controlled-access roadway except at such entrances and exits as are established by public authority”.

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CDOT said because of the location of the manhole, that section of median can’t be filled in, so the gap will remain. They said they will look into potential way of clarifying that turns should not be made through the median gap. CDOT and Sherman recommend drivers on southbound Sheridan Boulevard use the signalized intersection at 53rd Avenue or turn around at 52nd Avenue to get to the shopping plaza.

Denver7 traffic anchor Jayson Luber says he has been covering Denver-metro traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a chariot. (We believe the actual number is over 25 years.) He's obsessed with letting viewers know what's happening on their drive and the best way to avoid the problems that spring up. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast on iTunes , Stitcher , Google Play or Podbean.