New Heartland J-turn completed

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New Heartland J-turn completed

Grace O'Neil, Staff Writer

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The intersection at SR 25 and CR 800 has been changed from a median to a J-turn. While there are still some construction cones and signs in the area, the new traffic pattern is open for use. Many drivers are upset with this abrupt change to the Hoosier Heartland; however, most motorists agree that something needed to be done.  Adam Parkhouse, the media relations director at the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) shed some light on what led to the new traffic pattern.

What was the idea behind the J turn?

“J-turns, also sometimes referred to as a median U-turn, are being installed at locations such as this as a device to increase safety. Though relatively new to Indiana and this part of the state in particular, they’ve been used successfully elsewhere in the country and are proven to reduce crashes and drastically reduce the number of fatal and injurious crashes. That’s definitely the key. We want people to be safer,” said Parkhouse.

Why was a J-turn chosen to solve the safety issues?

“J-turns help to increase safety by channelizing traffic so folks need to only deal with traffic one direction at a time, rather than waiting for a break one way, inching out into the median and then waiting for another break. In that way, J-turns essentially eliminate right-angle crashes and again, greatly lessen the severity of other types of crashes. For instance, a J-turn INDOT installed in Newton County on U.S. 41 back in 2015 has resulted in an 80 percent reduction in injury crashes, despite a 14 percent increase in traffic,”  Parkhouse said.