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Elm Square: What Lane Do You Use?

Which lane do you wait in when you approach a red light at Elm Square heading south into downtown?

The town recently updated many traffic regulations and signage throughout Andover and the police and town departments are continually working together to improve the traffic situation in the community.

However, as many Andover residents know there are some intersections and areas of road that are somewhat ambiguous. Andover Patch wants to start some conversation about these areas.

This week we are asking you: if the lanes are empty and the light is red, which of the two lanes do you wait in if you're planning to go straight at the intersection of Elm Square heading south into downtown?

What intersections and areas of road in town do you think are ambiguous and could use clarification?

George Lewis May 17, 2012 at 06:51 PM
The Right hand Lane
George Lewis May 17, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Sorry, thought the question was coming down elm street. Coming down main street from Lawrence I choose either mostly the left if going straight.
Brendan Lewis May 17, 2012 at 07:47 PM
For me, I would say the left hand lane. But if there are multiple cars in the left lane and you can't see the first car's turn signal, it really is a toss up.
Dan Powers May 18, 2012 at 09:48 AM
Are these guys brothers? I agree, left lane if both are open, right lane if open and cars are in the left lane.
George Lewis May 18, 2012 at 10:33 AM
I think the real confusion is coming along elm street, from North Andover, you need to get in the right hand lane to go straight as well as coming from the other direction. This would seem the normal procedure but in both instances the right hand lane is a slight jog to the right. Typically the right hand lane is a straight feed through.
Bob Cashman May 18, 2012 at 11:38 AM
If I'm heading south on Main Street, I'll stay in the left lane. If there are cars turning left onto Elm, I'll move over and use the right lane to get around them. Safely only, of course. Another issue I have with this intersection are drivers on Elm Street approaching Elm Square from North Andover. They are not supposed to block High Street when they have a red light. There is a sign instructing them to "stop here on red". But time and time again that's exactly what they do. Too bad another traffic light in sync with Elm Square's lights weren't installed.
George Lewis May 18, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Bob - That's a good idea to install a second light at High street. All in all I think that the Traffic Dept. came up with a pretty good solution to that intersection considering there is no space for added roadway.
Amy Langone May 18, 2012 at 01:02 PM
If there's someone in the left lane with a turn signal on (and I think I'm going to get stuck there waiting for them to turn), I'll go for the right lane. Otherwise, I usually stick to the left lane to go straight so that I'm not in anyone's way for a right hand turn.
George Lewis May 18, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Amy - That's probably the best thing to do. If your in the right lane going straight paralleling another straight going car on the left it becomes a problem to merge. Lot's of times I make a right there and if someone is blocking you it is a pain!
Frances Wheeler May 18, 2012 at 03:46 PM
I believe one is required to wait in the left lane. The right lane is designated for right-turn only (unless they've recently changed it). Of course, not everyone obeys the law, and just a couple of days ago I saw someone drive straight through the right lane and nearly sideswipe an unsuspecting man on a scooter, who didn't anticipate a car passing him on the right.
George Lewis May 18, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Before they re-did that intersection the right lane had white, right turn arrows painted on the roadway---but no sign that stated "right turn only". Now there is nothing painted.

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