Left-Turn Lane May Give Relief on Berkshire Valley Rd.

Proposal involves two left-turn lanes onto Route 15 South.

Drivers leaving Oak Ridge for Route 15 South may finally get some relief from the morning rush hour traffic problem with the possible addition of a second left-turn lane. However, it could cause drivers coming in the opposite direction more time.

Jefferson Township business administrator James Leach spoke to state Department of Transportation (DOT) representatives when they attended a recent meeting regarding another matter.

“I got them to agree to revisit the situation at 15 and Berkshire Valley Road,” Leach said.

The configuration currently allows only one lane to make the left from Berkshire Valley Road west to Route 15 South. The proposed new configuration would allow for drivers in the right lane to also turn left onto the highway.

However, under the proposed plan, Leach said, drivers would no longer be allowed to cross Route 15 going east on Berkshire Valley Road toward Oak Ridge, or turn left onto Route 15 North. Instead, they would have to go right onto Route 15 South, make a U-turn at Phipps Road and come back north on Route 15.

“It’s a case of solving one problem and creating another, but we have to do something about that intersection with people going onto 15 South,” Jefferson Township Mayor Russell Felter said. “The traffic gets backed up way too far in the morning.”

Leach must present the DOT with a Problem Statement regarding the intersection, which the council authorized him to do through a resolution at Wednesday night's meeting.

What do you think of the proposed plan for the intersection of Route 15 and Berkshire Valley Road? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.

Nancy July 20, 2012 at 12:22 AM
This is the best plan they could come up with? This plan makes no sense.
Christine Carson July 20, 2012 at 02:38 AM
I completely agree; especially as someone who gets stuck at a least two maybe even three lights every night coming home just going across Route 15.
Sue Toth July 20, 2012 at 02:41 AM
John, according to my notes, they would eliminate both the left onto 15 North and the lane going straight across 15.
Robin Tilman July 24, 2012 at 07:42 PM
So now you will have those needing to go west on bvr and north 15 go onto south 15 first? Do they know how 15 south backs up in the morning? Now you will have more cars going that way. And Phipps road will be completely jammed with Picatinny folks and those trying to make the U turn. Dumb idea.
RICHARD G. BARRETTE August 02, 2012 at 02:58 PM


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