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What's Driving You Crazy?: Why isn’t the right lane on northbound Union at 2nd Place a right turn only lane?

Posted at 5:04 AM, Nov 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-03 07:38:31-05

Katrina from Lakewood writes, “What's driving you crazy? Why oh, why isn’t the right lane on northbound Union at 2nd Place in Lakewood a right turn only lane? Not only does it turn into the federal center park and ride but also St. Anthony’s Hospital. Everyone gets in this lane because they are getting on 6th Avenue in a half a mile and the center and left lanes are empty. Meanwhile those of us taking public transportation miss our buses and trains because we are waiting at the LONG light. If it was a turn only lane, we could be taking a right turns on red because traffic from the west is very minimal. Help us, Jayson! :). Thanks! PS I love you guys in the morning!!”

The City of Lakewood must have been reading your mind Katrina because they have already put in place what they hope is a solution to this problem. About a month ago, Lakewood created a double right turn lane from northbound Union Boulevard to eastbound Sixth Avenue. The city did this project specifically to alleviate the backup you get stuck in that occurs in the right lane on northbound Union. Drivers wanting to use the on-ramp to eastbound Sixth Avenue can now do so from the center lane as well as the right lanes on northbound Union.

Lakewood’s transportation engineering manager tells me it will take some time for drivers to become familiar with the double right turn lane for the on-ramp. The good news is that they have already seen in the last month, more drivers realizing it is available. They are confident that this change will help decrease the congestion in the right northbound lane at Second Place.

MORE: Read more traffic issues driving people crazy

Lakewood transportation tells me even if they never created the new double turn lane at 6th Avenue, the city would not make the right northbound lane dedicated only to right turns at Second Place because of safety concerns. They say that intersection is used frequently from both pedestrians crossing Union and driver turning right to the park-n-ride, the medical center or the Federal Center. Given this mix, drivers would be prevented from turning right on red because that would create an unsafe condition for people crossing the street.

As more people head back out on the morning commute, hopefully more will realize that change at 6th Avenue and traffic will start to flow much better on northbound Union.

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 20 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.