There's only one left-turn lane from Barnett onto Stewart

Following the work on Barnett Road, it is confusing at the intersection when turning left onto Stewart Avenue. There is one left-turn lane with a left-turn signal where there had been two turn lanes. However, perhaps from old habits, drivers are turning left from the middle through lane into the right lane on Stewart. Shouldn't that middle lane be a through lane only? If so, the road should be marked as such, both with straight arrows painted on the street and straight arrows near the lights.

— Leora Frohreich

I didn't know they'd changed the configuration of the intersection until you pointed it out, so I went down and checked it out. Sure enough, it's different.

The middle lane is now for straight-ahead traffic only — no turning allowed.

I called Lt. Bob Hansen at the Medford Police Department, and he said they haven't been getting complaints about people turning from the center lane. It sounded like he was working on getting some turn and straight-ahead arrows painted in the lanes to help drivers out.

Now when the left-turn arrow for turning from Barnett onto Stewart is red, the eastbound traffic on Barnett is under a green light, which would be a really big deterrent for anyone making a left turn from the center lane. Before the road work, all the westbound lanes of Barnett had to stop, which is not the case now.

If you're using Barnett Road, remember there is only one left-turn lane, not two.

Dace Cochran, a patrol sergeant with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, writes a regular Q&A column on police issues for the Mail Tribune. Have a question for him? Write to Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501, or e-mail

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