Ask NOW: Why are there only turn lanes at Highway 100 and Potter Road/Research Drive?

Jan. 9, 2014

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Why are there only turn lanes at Highway 100 and Potter Road/Research Drive?

Issue: A reader wants to know why the recently reconstructed signaled intersection of Highway 100 and Potter Road/Research Drive includes only left and right turns for westbound vehicles exiting Research Drive and eastbound vehicles leaving Potter Road.

"There is no allotment to go straight across," she wrote. She noted the temporary light system during construction provided straight-across access.

Status: Officials said the intersection has a history of allowing only turns to minimize traffic in the residential area west of Highway 100 and to efficiently clear traffic coming out of the research park.

Wauwatosa Department of Public Works Director Bill Porter looked into the matter with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

"The DOT said the turn-only lanes have been there because residents west of Highway 100 did not want drivers cutting through their neighborhood," Porter said.

Those neighbors are represented by Alderman Tim Hanson, who said residents want to maintain a quiet neighborhood.

"Underwood School is right down the street and there is a sidewalk nearby, but generally there are no other sidewalks," Hanson said. "Residents want to keep it that way."

Hanson said even though residents don't want their neighborhood to be a shortcut, there may be drivers who still choose to travel straight across Highway 100 for convenience.

"There will always be people who look for the path of least resistance," he said.

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