JOHNS CREEK, Ga – A little bit of Florida has come to metro Atlanta, bringing the theory that less is more.
The “Florida T” intersection originated in the sunshine state. The city of Johns Creek opened its second such intersection this week.
A little plastic surgery sends some drivers zipping through the intersection of McGinnis Ferry Road and Sargent Road, a place where they used to hit the brakes.
Other drivers struggle with the city’s theory that taking away a left turn lane will get them through the intersection faster.
“I would hope they do their research,” said one driver. “It seems like it wouldn't but, I hope they're smarter than me.”
Traffic engineers with the city of Johns Creek redesigned the intersection complaints from frustrated commuters trying to turn left.
“When it was a red light they would just be stuck,” says Deputy Director of Public Works Tom Udell.
The "Florida T" intersection separates traffic traveling west on McGinnis Ferry. Those drivers now flow through the intersection. They no longer confront a traffic signal.
Commuters turning left off of McGinnis Ferry onto Sargent see a lot of plastic cones. What they no longer see is a second left turn lane. The light used to give them only two options-- either a green arrow or a red light.
Now there's the addition of a flashing yellow arrow that allows drivers to turn when there’s a break in oncoming traffic.
Udell explained that allowing the extra opportunity to turn could not happen with two left turn lanes.
“The inside car would block the outside car's view and make it unsafe for them to turn,” said Udell.
Traffic models tell the city the new configuration should cut left turn delays in half. If that happens, drivers will likely buy into the theory that less is better.