Those Lines on the Street and Those Signs Actually Mean Things, You Ignorant Dolts

Road construction always brings on a bout of ineptitude among drivers. To some people, orange barrels trigger a synaptic breakdown. Bad drivers become worse drivers. Thankfully, with the RNC's red carpet looming o'er our every waking minute, Cleveland's never seen more roadwork than what we're dealing with now. 

Westside drivers, for our purpose here today, should try to grasp a few basic fundamentals real frickin' quick, as idiocy has been running rampant at West 117th and Clifton (as well as several other, less egregious West 117th intersections). 

Here's the main problem: Eastbound traffic flow formerly just sent all three lanes right across West 117th, right? But now the ongoing Clifton widening project and the 117th repaving project have sent up orange barrels and street signs like stalagmites. Nothing unique, really; this kind of shit happens all the time in Cleveland, but as witnessed by anyone at nearly any time at this intersection, most drivers can't figure out what's going on here.

See that photo? That's Clifton Boulevard, looking east. Note the "RIGHT TURN ONLY" sign, indicating that the right lane is for right turns only. (Westside commuters and Lakewood residents, in particular, would note that nearly every bisecting side street along Clifton in Lakewood now features a "RIGHT TURN ONLY" sign. It's a part of the project meant to ameliorate expanded bus traffic in those lanes. The signs have been up for weeks now.)

Given the RIGHT TURN ONLY thing and the orange barrels sprouting up along Clifton (see photo), the remaining two eastbound lanes on Clifton have to be rerouted a bit. That's what those little white markings across the intersection mean. The lanes shift right. 

Again, these are all basic tenets of observation behind the wheel. Street signs and striping really do matter — all of which you're paying for, by the way. Regardless of how drab this dreck is, these signs aren't simple decor. They're mean to communicate something to the people using the roadways. This is how the world works: by transmitting information from one person or agency to the next.

Hell, this is almost the exact same pattern that westbound traffic had to deal with earlier this summer. There is literally nothing new about this stuff.

In sum: If you're the douchebag who ignores the RIGHT TURN ONLY sign, then you're probably the douchebag who's driving right across West 117th precisely as drivers in the other two lanes are shifting right. Do the math on that one.


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About The Author

Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
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