Farmville turn lane confusing

Published 12:55 pm Tuesday, July 28, 2015

QUESTION: Is the left turn lane at Main and Fourth Street (northbound on Main) for turning into the little driveway directly across from Fourth? Or is it for turning left on High Street? Some cars get over early and some wait to get over. I’ve heard conflicting opinions on the matter. There’s no “left-turn only” sign at the intersection, but the painted arrow only shows a left-turn, not arrows for left or straight.

Good question. We reached out to the Farmville Police Department for the answer. Police, of course, have a handle on it since they enforce the traffic laws.

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“Look at the markings on the pavement. The double solid line, that’s the dividing line between the north- and southbound lanes,” Farmville Police Lt. Bill Hogan advised.

The line, he points out, curves around the turning lane, so the turning lane begins before the intersection.

“So if you’re headed north, then the turning lane to turn left onto High Street actually starts south of the Fourth Street intersection,” Hogan said.

Motorists headed north on Main Street have the option of entering the turning lane in front of Midtown Square and proceeding through the

Fourth Street intersection to turn left on High Street. So, yes, it’s a long turning lane.

The extended turning lane has been in place for a number of years, but there is that little driveway into the Federal Building at the Fourth Street traffic light that gives some motorists pause.

Hogan believes the turning lane was “extended because … it’s a real short block there between Fourth Street and High Street.” It could only accommodate about two cars between Fourth and High streets. Without extending the turning lane to Midtown Square “you would block up everything heading north for three or four cars trying to turn left.”

While there is some confusion on when motorists should get over, one problem officers have seen is motorists traveling south on Main Street crossing the double yellow line and using the northbound lane as a turning lane to enter Midtown Square.

“So what they’re actually doing is they’re sitting in oncoming traffic,” Hogan said.

He offered this rule of thumb: As long as you keep the double yellow lines on your left, you’re OK.

“Now if you’re traveling and you find a double solid line on your right, you’re in the wrong lane,” Hogan said.

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