Road Rants: Name your tune, intersection signage controversy and defense of front seat dogs

2013-08-10T00:00:00Z Road Rants: Name your tune, intersection signage controversy and defense of front seat dogsBy Ben Brickman AUTO OUTRAGE CONTRIBUTOR
August 10, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Once again I have received many responses for your favorite songs while driving. Some of your favorites this week are: “I Can’t Drive 55,” by Sammy Hagar, “YYZ,” by Rush and The Stones with “Satisfaction.” I will leave it open a couple of more weeks to give you a chance to vote for your favorites.

Rant 1: Last week we mentioned a Dyer reader that nearly killed a cyclist when the light turned green at Columbia and Calumet in Munster and he pulled into the intersection. The Spandex-clad Road Warrior ran the red light and nearly Evel Knieveled over his car. So this week a cyclist wrote and said that he is constantly being cut off by drivers who ignore his hand signals. He thinks possibly the drivers who cut him off fon't remember what the signals mean. Another reader wrote saying that he is tired of cyclists who do not have lights or even reflectors and still ride at night. I have to give a loud “Amen,” to that frustrated driver. There are bicycle riders all over the road without ilghts and drivers just don't see them. Officers please confiscate the bikes and hand these cyclists a ticket for being dim bulbs.

Rant 2: We received even more mail this week about the intersection of U.S. Hwy 30 and Broadway in Merrillville, this time from Jessica at INDOT. Perfect timing because there are questions coming in as to the criteria for the “No Turn On Red” signs.

Jessica says, “At U.S. 30 and State Road 53, we have northbound and southbound right-turn-arrow-overlaps which run concurrently with the eastbound and westbound left turn arrows and with northbound and southbound through-green. The only time they aren't on is when east-west through traffic or north-south left turn arrows are green.“

She added “just a little background” about the sign justification:

The investigators conduct a study to see if any of the criteria exist to warrant a sign. If the standards are met, then the sign goes up. Here are possible reasons that some approaches/intersections have signage and some don't:

1. Inadequate sight distance to vehicles approaching from the left (or right, if applicable).

2. Geometrics or operational characteristics of the intersection that might result in unexpected conflicts.

3. More than three right-turn-on-red accidents reported in a 12-month period for the particular approach.

4. The skew angle of the intersecting roadways creates difficulty for drivers to see traffic approaching from their left.

There you have it. This is why there is a “No Turn on Red” sign at the intersection of U.S. Hwy 30 and Broadway in Merrillville. INDOT is scheduled to clear the matter up in October of 2014.

Rant 3: I got several replies to my rant about some people having Fido in the driver's lap. One lady was quite polite, maybe curt, as she explained she would comply after people stopped talking and/or texting on cell phones. I agree with her that there is too much cell phone distraction on the roads. You can’t properly watch traffic with the digital appendages attached to your ear. Concerning the line being drawn in the sand, that’s fine Lady, if you don’t mind being the person responsible for Fido’s life, or death. Not to mention those of us who share the road with you. If Fido flies out of the vehicle, he might die. Five hundred pounds of force will crush his skull. Once again…that’s yucky.

It’s Audience Participation Time...Have a Dimwit Driver alert? See a dog in the front seat? Got an Idea for a bumper sticker? What tunes drive you? Send it to: You can also call the RANT LINE at 219-933-1010. Leave your message. Include all the details. We will work it into the column-blog. We are also on Facebook, NWI Road Rants. Until next time, be safe. No one else is.

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