Red Light Tickets to Cause Tallahassee Lane Change

UPDATED 11.29.2011 by Julie Montanaro

An intersection that generated as many a thousand red light running tickets a month is about to change again.

Road crews will start work tonight at the corner of West Tennessee Street and Capital Circle Northwest

The city says after weeks of study it has decided to permanently close one of two right turn lanes.

Drivers in the remaining right turn lane will no longer have to stop at the red light. They'll have to yield instead.

Motorist Jon Stratton worries getting rid of one turn lane will slow things down.

"Just about everybody only uses one lane anyway unless it's real bad traffic then they'll ... during 5 o'clock it's two, so that'll really slow it down during busy rush hours I think," Stratton said.

A city spokeswoman says the red light camera at the intersection is not coming down. It will still photograph cars that run red lights in the other lanes.
Tallahassee, FL -- October 21, 2011 --

"This intersection right here has been a pain for many people."

It sure has...Since the red light camera was installed last year at the intersection of West Tennessee Street and Capital Circle Northwest, as many as one-thousand violations have been issued in a single month.

It was illegal to turn right from Tennessee onto Capital Circle...but many drivers did it anyway.

George Yumas got one of those 158-dollar tickets in the mail.

Yumas says, "When I seen it, the $450 for the late thing, it was like a shot in my heart. It was painful."

The high number of tickets made the city take the City of Tallahassee is testing out a new system...taking away a turning lane.

Tallahassee driver Brian Williams adds, "I think it should stay two lanes. I think it'll back traffic. I've seen those two lanes packed all the way back to the beginning of the turning lane in the past."

The city has placed barricades to block one of the lanes...taken down all of the "No Turn on Red" signs...and covered the traffic lights for the turning lanes.

So, drivers do *not* have to stop when turning right...only yield.

Chris Gadd, another Tallahassee driver, says, "I think that would help. I think it would. I think once people get used to it, everything should work out fine."

The city will study the new traffic pattern for two weeks.

If no operational concerns arise during the two-week study, the City will request the Florida Department of Transportation's permission to make the changes permanent.

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