I have read many opinions and comments in The News Tribune about the recent changes to state Route 16 and, of course, the dreaded Sprague Avenue exit. So I decided to check out the exit for myself as I was curious about all the fuss and wanted to see why people couldn’t simply follow the posted rules and navigate a section of roadway.
I had seen pictures of the skid marks on the pavement, knew the suggested speed limit of 15 mph, and was aware that I would go up a ramp and into a 90-degree left turn. It was also broad daylight and the roads were dry, so I had everything in my favor.
I took the exit, followed all the rules and, lo and behold, I successfully accomplished the task. No problem right?
Wrong! Frankly, after seeing it firsthand I am appalled and amazed that anyone could think that exit would be safe in even the slightest adverse conditions. There is nothing intuitive in most people’s driving experience that would help them navigate through the experience.
It feels a lot like driving in a parking garage, but in a parking garage you have the advantage of expecting that kind of thing. I cannot image being unfamiliar with the road, driving though it in slippery conditions or stumbling upon it for the first time in the dark.
I hope the naysayers are wrong and nobody dies there before the next phase, but I am not placing any bets.