Traffic Change Complete at Busy Owatonna Intersection
Traffic light and turn lane construction has finished at 26th Street Northwest and County Road 45 in Owatonna. Drivers need to get used to the new features at the busy intersection.
The flashing left-turn arrow might be new to some drivers. As the sign next to it states, a left turn is allowed but you need to yield to oncoming traffic. It seems simple but I have experienced some near misses in other parts of the state with this feature. I had a scenario when a driver coming at me thought they were flying through the end of a protected left-hand turn and I had to jam on the brakes to avoid a collision.
Another time I was behind a driver who was halfway through an intersection when the light began to flash. Even though no traffic was coming toward us, he simply sat there doing nothing. A gentle tap of my horn prompted him to do what he was supposed to do.
Compared to the old-style left-turn signals that left cars sitting needlessly at a red arrow, this should improve traffic flow through one of Owatonna's busier intersections.