As far as people being as annoyed with others for backing out of a parking place as they are with people backing into one, that’s probably not going to be the case for a couple of reasons. If you are waiting for someone to back out of a place, it is probably because you want to park there, so you are going to be a lot more willing to wait.
If you’re waiting for someone to back into a parking place, then you are probably looking for one yourself, and that person is holding you up.
Gerry Lebel, Springfield
Flashing red arrows
Dear Dr. Gridlock:
Regarding your column discussing signals at dedicated left-turn lanes and the use of flashing yellow arrows to proceed with caution [Dr. Gridlock, April 14], there’s at least one intersection in Montgomery County that uses flashing red arrows and requires left-turners to stop.
Going south on Georgia Avenue at Arcola Avenue, the left-turn lane has a flashing red arrow close to a sign that reads: “Left-turn yield on flashing red arrow after stop.”
The arrow starts flashing red after the green arrow expires, and the solid green lights for through traffic remain on. The left-turn arrow becomes solid red when the lights for through traffic become red.
Flashing red arrows still do not give left-turners the right of way, but they do force them to come to a full stop before proceeding into the intersection.
Isn’t this safer for drivers in helping to prevent rear-end crashes in the left-turn lane and crashes involving oncoming traffic, as well as being safer for pedestrians, who have the right of way at the intersection where left-turners are headed?
Also, flashing red arrows together with the sign may ease frustration for those in line in the left-turn lane because the protocol is unambiguous.
Susanne Humphrey, Wheaton
Maryland is one of the rare jurisdictions that uses flashing red arrows to control left turns, and even within Maryland, it is quite uncommon.
Having each driver stop before turning can reduce the chances of collisions, but not all drivers understand what it means or choose to obey the signal and stop — even though the explanatory sign is well positioned for drivers to see. I saw plenty of drivers slow, rather than stop, at the Arcola Avenue intersection.