Lafayette’s Most Challenging Left Turns [Opinion]
Christopher Columbus was a believer in the concept of traveling East by sailing West. Sometimes Lafayette drivers have to adopt a similar tact when navigating our tenuous traffic patterns. I personally have found that the sheer agony of waiting and hoping for a break in traffic to allow me to make a left turn is not worth the frustration of simply turning to the right and taking a longer way around. Here are some of my least favorite left turn opportunities.
It's good thing there is a Raising Canes and a Ground Pat'i right there because you're going to want a snack while you wait. The traffic flow down Kaliste Saloom toward Ambassador Caffery can be very manageable. When you add in the possibility of on-coming traffic turning into the shopping center or not, that's when that left turn becomes a reason to get right with God.
This intersection oddly enough is complicated by a traffic light. Normally the lights are supposed to help the traffic flow, but this intersection between two shopping areas with multiple lanes heading in different directions can make this left turn nearly impossible. I find it easier just to go further down Johnston to south College and wait for the arrow.
Guidry Road is the short cut between Johnston to South City Parkway which leads you around the mall and on to Ambassador. It works great if you're turning right off of Johnston on to Guidry, but turning left from Guidry to Johnston is a thrill ride. Here's the rub, traffic coming from Abbeville has a chance to hit full speed from the light at Duhon. Traffic from the light by Olive Garden has a chance to hit full speed from the other direction. To go left, you have to bounce through a bumpy crossover that can send you flying like the Dukes of Hazzard. You better make sure your front and back wheels are actually on the ground before you hit the gas.
Congress Street carries a lot of traffic, especially around Lafayette High School. This intersection happens to be right next to LHS. The combination of heavy traffic on Congress combined with inexperienced drivers trying to make their own death defying left turn from Marie Antoinette on to Congress makes this a crap shoot while threading a needle. I usually just close my eyes when I have to make this turn when school is in session.
Once upon a time, Pinhook was probably considered a very wide road in our fair city. I am sure the attempt to widen it from two lanes to four lanes through the years meant squeezing out a lot of valuable property. Therefore, the lanes close to the Oil Center seem a little snug. Factor in the lack of left turn lanes and traffic can back up from all directions in a hurry. Goodness knows around the lunch hour any attempt to go left on Pinhook between South College and University requires nerves of steel and full coverage insurance.