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Highway 18 Three Lanes


Date posted - December 4, 2013


Anyone one else frustrated by the new 3 lanes on Hwy 18? It slows traffic down and not all drivers know how to use it. The other night I was traveling west on Hwy 18 going to head out of town. I was the 4th car following a car going 15 miles an hour, and who knows how many were behind me. When we got to the 4-way stop intersection of old 60 and 18, the lead car turns left or south, did that ever enter the turning lane, nope turned from the “outside lane”. That was not the only night traffic was backed up on the highway either, it becomes a bottle neck. Just wondering.

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29 Responses to “Highway 18 Three Lanes”

  1. SW says:

    I can’t STAND the new 3 lane. You are right, people go really slow and it backs everything up.

    • Reno57 says:

      The new 3 lane street through Sheldon is, as I see it and have experienced, much safer and efficient. Yes, it may take some folks time to get used to it but it’s better than having someone race you to a stoplight to change lanes or some trucks taking both lanes (that’s what would really get on my nerves). Chances are the car traveling 15 mph would have been going that slow and most likely taking part of both lanes anyway. The only thing that would improve it even more would be to have slower speed limits east of the high school to the 60 bypass. 45 and 50 mph at a major school turn (by Sears) and a partially blind intersection (country club & 18) can’t be safe no matter how many lanes there are.

      • Rainbow says:

        I agree that it is safer, before the corner of 18 and Washington ave. I avoided prior, because of hazards of turning north, now it is much improved. Lanes prior were too narrow for truck and cars to pass without slowing down.Atleast this change makes sense unlike downtown where, there are now repairing water lines that were never part of original upgrade of interstructure with “downtown improvements”

  2. WP says:

    I have to disagree. I observe traffic flowing smoothly, though slowly at times. The best part thought few, if any traffic accidents to this point.

  3. Concerned person says:

    I have not seen as many accidents as usual. I agree the three lane is the best thing we as a town could have done to prevent accidents.

  4. Lee Ann says:

    I like it. But then, I learned how to drive in Colorado, which has a huge amount of these three lane or five lane roads, with the turn lane in the center. I actually feel safer with this center lane. But I guess it would take some getting used to. Give it some time.

  5. jc says:

    I have to agree. Traffic is slower. People don’t know how to use the turning lane like it was meant to be used. For me the worst part is if your not at a intersection that has a four way stop or a stop light, it can take a while to get on it. When it was a four lane, you almost always had the outside lane to turn on.

  6. yardman says:

    how about the stop light by the High School. If you are coming from school or from the North, you can sit there along time before the light changes. Once it does, it is not green for very long.

  7. yardman says:

    and how about the 4 way stop..my issue is, a car stops and waits their turn. but the car behind barley stops and takes off. Just because the car in front stop does not give the 2nd car inline the right to just go. Its not hard to tell once you are the front car and stop to see who is next in line to go.. Use some common sense.

    • RR says:

      I have had it twice now that I get in the turning lane to go (North) to the hospital and some else gets in the turning lane to go (South) to Family Drug. I think it will only be time before there is a head on collision here.

  8. Ducky says:

    I love this new three lane. I know what you are talking about with the 15mph driver. I was actually part of that situation you were in on my way to the store. You can fix the roads, but you can’t fix dumb drivers. 98% of drivers know how to properly use a turning lane. If they are driving WAY too slow under the speed limit, like 15 in a 40mph zone, honk your horn to get their attention. There are speed limit signs posted every… what, quarter mile? They need to be paying attention to the signs! Especially since the signs are back to their original speed limits.
    Other than that, I like how I’m not stuck at an intersection for 15 minutes anymore, I’m glad there are no more speed demons weaving through the lanes, and I’m glad there are no more races on Highway 18 (oddly happened every day between 3:15 and 3:30pm). With wider and fewer lanes, there should be fewer car accidents.

    • Lee Ann says:

      Remember this is small town Iowa. If a little old lady is going 15 MPH in her car, don’t honk at her and scare her half to death. Relax, its only going to take you five more minutes to get to Hyvee.

      • Ducky says:

        Haha ok, maybe you’re right. Don’t honk, but don’t get too stressed over it. I do tend to honk from time to time when the person in front of me continues to text even after the light turns green. Kind of a “pay attention” kind of thing.

  9. Retired teacher says:

    I like it. It’s okay that we have to drive slower… it should be that way in town. No reason to have to drive fast at all.

  10. Mom of 3 says:

    Huge difference in accidents. But the part that drives me crazy? Is the big shift in lanes by Shopko. What’s up with that?

    • Jon says:

      I noticed that too, I don’t understand why they couldn’t keep it a bit more uniform since they redid the whole road…oh well.

  11. Jon says:

    I actually think the three lane is a huge improvement and is generally improving traffic flow and preventing accidents, particularly at Washington Avenue. I think that it will take some getting used to, particularly at the 4-way stop with business 60, and it does clearly have a weakness in that you do not have an opportunity pass slow-moving cars anymore. However, I think that the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

  12. Driver625432698 says:

    the 15 mph driver was probably elderly or has night blindness issues … just guessing … I drive professionally on highway 18 almost daily and all day. I love the new 3 lane road. I do wish the north/south traffic signals would stay green for longer than 25 seconds(and I have timed them). I have also observed many, many, many drivers barely make an attempt to stop at stop signs all over town. The sign says STOP people not roll on through if no one is coming.

    Perhaps a refresher drivers ed class when it’s time to renew drivers licenses would helo educate people on safer driving.

    • My One Cent says:

      The three lane is nice, with a few tweeks needed (some mention are the jog over of the lines by Shopko and no left turn into Caseys coming from the west needs to be posted better). The problem now that needs fixing is in town, in my opinion. The city needs to re-evaluate each intersection and the proper signs put at each one. I personally think that all corners should have at least a yield sign for one way or the other. My guess is it would be best if all North and South avenues yielded to all East and West Streets since East and West runs toward our new and improved downtown. The stop signs you say you see people not stopping for may be some of the ones I’ve noticed around town that have no need to be a stop sign. I live on 7th street, but take 8th Street home because there are 5 stop signs on 7th Street to get home as opposed to one (by the P.O.) the other way. I park in the alley between 7th and 8th anyway to be off the road in the winter Then, a yield sign for the East and West RR tracks in town. REALLY? Where are the flashing lights at every operating train track within city limits?

  13. Harriet Oleson says:

    The 4 way stop at Hwy 18 & Old 60 has always been a free for all. I have experienced the fiasco for over 30 years. It is among the least respected 4 ways that I have ever seen – I don’t think one can attribute it to elderly drivers or youthful drivers – I believe it is a Dutch thing. I believe the theory is “I am going to go when I darn well please”!!!! I once considered borrowing Pa Ingall’s team and wagon and just running over the next person that didn’t wait their turn.

    • Mark says:

      In your professional 30 years of driving, How many accidents did you see at this 4 way stop? How many at the stop light of Hwy 18 & Washington?

    • Susan says:

      Accidents at Old 60/18 four-way are rare fender benders; accidents at Washington Ave/18 stop light are frequent head crunchers.

      • east end resident says:

        This new turning lane is the best thing that has ever happened. As a resident who has to turn at Sears, the speed limit is 50 and at least I can get in the turning lane and not have to worry about getting rear ended. As for Harriet Olsen, I would like to see how long it would take her with Pa Ingalls team to get on the highway if she were coming from the south and wanted to turn west, I’m afraid she would be the one getting hit. As for the slow traffic, leave 5 min. earlier.

  14. KW says:

    Has anyone noticed that you are not to turn into Casey’s from highway 18 if you are coming from the west and you are past the corner of Washington Ave. There are no turning arrows that allow for it. They only are for turning south onto Washington if you are coming from the east. This is going to be interesting when the head on happens. As it is marked the vehicle going east is automatically going to be in the wrong. I have had it twice already that after I was already in the turning lane to go south on Washington that a car coming off Washington turned the corner right into the turning lane in front of me so they could turn into Casey’s east driveway. This is going to be a bad deal for someone.

    • LazloTu says:

      This configuration is common in most (all) cities. The correct entrance to Casey’s from eastbound hwy 18 would be to turn left, then right into Casey’s. Time to pay attention to new conditions.

      • LazloTu says:

        I guess three readers either do not agree, or, they are offended that I’m correct…..

        Maybe it’s because I didn’t address the correct maneuver for driving north on Washington with the intent to enter Casey’s?? In this case, the correct procedure would be to:
        1. Continue north through the stoplight.
        2. Signal for a right turn.
        3. Turn right into Casey’s.

        If you screw up, go to the license examiner and retake the driving exam.

  15. virgil says:

    The 3 lane is one of the best things Sheldon has done. As I drive truck with the 3 lane at least no one tries to pass on the right when you are turning south on bus 60 from 18 east bound. But it sure made Caseys lot busy when the yoyos cut through there because “I am important” and can’t do the legal thing

  16. Carnie2001 says:

    Yeah it’s great but where is the turning lane in the one spot it is needed the most?

    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=504+2ND+AVE+sheldon+ia&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x878c5a7dced84af1:0x13e32bcbeadde9f2,504+2nd+Ave,+Sheldon,+IA+51201&gl=us&ei=y_gWU8bfAqG4yQGE6IHABg&ved=0CCkQ8gEwAA

    Go sit in the old Taco Johns lot at 4 PM on any given weekday and watch the traffic coming from the west back up due to no right turn lane. Its crazy.

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