I was in a pretty good mood leaving home one hot summer morning. When I arrived at the intersection on Ford Avenue at Highway 17, I sat waiting about 10 cars back, looking up the line, hoping sometime soon to make a right turn.
Being a person with a lot of patience, the situation would not have been so bad. But had my air-conditioning system gone bad at that time, I hardly would have had any patience left.
Typically, there is a car or truck sitting in the right lane at the stoplight with intentions of going straight ahead. The problem was the traffic behind, like me, planning to make a right turn but not being able to.
Had the person pulled forward to the white line and to the left as far as possible, maybe the cars behind could make that right turn and be on their way, heading north on Highway 17, while that person could continue to wait for the green light.
Regardless, since there is no right-turn lane, the person at the stoplight was perfectly in his or her rights, obeying the law.
It is apparent that improvements to this intersection have been made, and it may seem that it’s only a problem for me. Nevertheless, there always is room for further improvements.
It also is apparent that there are several obstacles to a right-turn lane at this intersection. Right off, there are those beautiful, giant trees. They probably are as old as the state, standing in the way of any widening of the road at that point. These oaks are a signature of Richmond Hill and probably were standing when there were nearby Native-American settlements. They certainly didn’t have problems with right turns.
Regardless of how many further improvements are needed, there never should be any consideration for removing these trees to make way for another lane. If there is, or was, such a consideration, we would be better off to leave things as they are.
What other consideration could there be in providing an extra lane for a right-turn here? Where can another lane be added? Is it possible that a lane can be opened on the other side of those trees, barring any real-estate problems? At any rate, maybe the city is hard at work with a solution.
At least, we can look forward to the possibility that some day, there will be a lane with a sign that reads “right turn only.”
Bond lives in Richmond Hill.