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Ban all correct turns on red in Cambridge? Not so fast

A Massachusetts city’s quest to ban right turns on red at all intersections has hit a bump. Cambridge City Council voted in November (video above) to explore whether it could pass a right-turn ban on red that would apply to all intersections in the city. Earlier this week, the city’s Department of Traffic, Parking and Transportation sent out a memo saying that a city traffic regulation alone is not enough. Brooke McKenna, acting head of the department, explains in the two-page document that state law allows right turns on red after a complete stop on a red signal by default. The law requires municipalities to post “No Turning Red” signs at any intersection where turning is restricted. Cambridge already has such signs at about 80% of the city’s intersections, but McKenna’s memo explains that one regulation alone is not enough to ban the practice everywhere. “Due to specific posting requirements under state law, the city cannot prohibit turns at red signal directions solely through a change in the city’s traffic rules,” McKenna wrote. Another complicating factor is that some intersections in Cambridge are run by the state. Listing the challenges, McKenna also wrote about the potential safety benefits of having drivers wait for the green light. “Allowing red turn turns diverts the driver’s attention from finding the fastest way through the intersection and away from being aware of other road users around them,” she wrote. “This increases the likelihood of injury to vulnerable road users during turns at locations where lighting red is permitted.” The memo concludes by outlining a four-step proposal for the next steps the city could take. They include developing and posting a policy that most red turns should not be allowed, identifying places where signals are still needed, working with the state to restrict the intersections it manages. McKenna also suggests that the city could modify the traffic regulations to allow the posting of signs that prevent drivers from turning left on red, a practice that is currently allowed when turning from a one-way street onto another one-way street. only sense.

A Massachusetts city’s quest to ban right turns on red at all intersections has hit a bump.

Cambridge City Council voted in November (Video above) to explore whether a right turn could pass at the red prohibition that applied to all intersections in the city. Earlier this week, the city’s Department of Traffic, Parking and Transportation sent out a memo saying that a city traffic regulation alone is not enough.

Brooke McKenna, acting head of the department, explains in the two-page document that state law allows right turns on red after a complete stop on a red signal by default. The law requires municipalities to post “No Turning Red” signs at any intersection where turning is restricted.

Cambridge already has such signs at about 80% of the city’s intersections, but McKenna’s memo explains that one regulation alone is not enough to ban the practice everywhere.

“Due to specific posting requirements under state law, the city cannot prohibit turns at red signal directions solely through a change in city traffic rules,” McKenna wrote.

Another complicating factor is that some intersections in Cambridge are run by the state.

Listing the challenges, McKenna also wrote about the potential safety benefits of having drivers wait for the green light.

“Allowing turns at red turns diverts the driver’s attention from finding the fastest way through the intersection and away from being aware of other road users around them,” he wrote. “This increases the likelihood of injury to vulnerable road users during turns at locations where lighting red is permitted.”

The memo concludes by outlining a four-step proposal for the next steps the city could take. They include developing and posting a policy that most red turns should not be allowed, identifying places where signals are still needed, working with the state to restrict the intersections it manages.

McKenna also suggests that the city could modify the traffic regulations to allow the posting of signs that prevent drivers from turning left on red, a practice that is currently allowed when turning from a one-way street onto another one-way street. only sense.

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