Group opposes INDOT’s plans for J-Turns on US-31

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 8:03 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - New information, we’re following up on a story we did back in August of 2020 about installing J-Turn’s on US-31 to make crossing the highway safer.

We spoke with former Indiana State legislator Bill Friend who is with “Citizens Against J-Turns” who says he doesn’t see the point.

According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, J-Turn’s would make crossing US-31 and merging onto the highway safer.

Citizen’s against J-turns believes installing the safety measure would create more problems than it would solutions. The project could cost around a million dollars per J-Turn, and causing confusion for newer drivers and the older populations.

They say taking no action is better than taking the wrong action. The group says better options would be on and off ramps or overpasses, or at the very least increasing signage to make drivers more aware of dangerous intersections.

In August of last year we looked into the issue after a fatal accident as US-31 and IN-110.

At the time INDOT said:

“If we had a J-Turn there, a right-angle crash would be less likely, so it would be possible that having that reduced conflict intersection would make it less likely for that crash to occur,”

Citizens against J-Turns says there are better options.

“The usage of J-Turns as I’ve observed them, I’ve described them as awkward, clumsy, confusing, and not the least of all dangerous,” Bill Friend says. “Especially for the younger driver and the elderly driver, because you can’t just go across an intersection anymore, you have to do this convoluted program of crossing a lane of traffic, then doing a U-Turn in the median.”

As far as we know, INDOT’s plans for J-turns are going forward with plans for completion set for 2023, tentatively. Citizen against J-turns has an online petition that has over 1,500 signatures so far.

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