LAYTON, Utah – One year after a controversial intersection was unveiled in Layton, motorists’ frustrations intensify.
The city of Layton is growing. With more cars on the road, traffic would get backed up on the freeways and into the intersections.
It was a nightmare, said John Gleason, spokesman for Utah Department of Transportation.
“It would take up to 10 minutes to get from Main Street to Layton Hills Mall, which is a very short distance,” Gleason said.
Last year, UDOT put in so-called, ThrU-turns at four intersections off the exit of Hill Field Road, making it so drivers could not make left turns.
Instead, they must go straight through the intersections, and make a U-turn at a traffic light a few 100 feet down the road.
“We recognize that it may be a little counter-intuitive, but this is an innovative solution that really does work,” Gleason said.
Melody, of Ogden, told FOX 13 Monday, the intersections are confusing.
“It’s pretty frustrating. I’ve had a couple of near misses with an accident because not being from here, it’s hard to get used to,” Melody said.
Bob Stevenson, mayor of Layton City, he'd experienced the ThrU-turns when he traveled to the Michigan area. He said the traffic pattern is their best bet.
Since installing some in Draper on 12300 South, UDOT officials say, traffic congestion has been reduced by 15 percent.
Stevenson added impacts on surrounding businesses, such as Layton Hills Mall, have been minimal.
“I’ve talked to Linda Kelly, the mall manager and she said that their business has held steady throughout,” the mayor said.
UDOT and city leaders say once the Interstate 15 construction project wraps up this week, drivers will notice a significant drop in traffic and getting around town should be less of a hassle.
But some drivers are skeptical.
“It might make things flow smoother, but it doesn’t feel like it,” said Caleb, Layton resident.
While UDOT officials say ThrU-turns aren’t going anywhere, they are open to feedback from the public. They would consider making tweaks to signage and timing of traffic lights.