Every morning, rush hour traffic heading east into Iowa City on Melrose Avenue is abruptly forced into one lane just past Emerald Street as the right lane ends.
Most drivers know this and stay in the left lane which backs up and creates a long line of traffic in the left lane.
Inevitably, every morning, there are drivers who see this as an opportunity to cut ahead in line. So, they drive over the speed limit to race ahead in the right lane hoping to cut in at the last moment.
With a feigned look of ignorance and pity, they look back at the drivers next to them hoping someone will let them in. The more brazen drivers try to force their way in, as if it’s their birth right. They will drive up on the curb to show their determination. Some get forced off the road by angry people who have been patiently waiting their turn.
Those who stand waiting for the bus every day see this drama unfold like clockwork. Today, unfortunately, an ambulance with lights and siren on, was unable to get through as unrelenting drivers refused to give up their precious spot in line. So the ambulance just sat there. Eventually the flow of traffic picked up and one driver let the ambulance go ahead.
If a traffic signal were put in on the eastbound side of Melrose Avenue, this could solve the above problem. A left turn only light could designate the left lane for only those cars going into the Finkbine commuter lot. All other traffic could stay in the right lane. This would also help regulate the merging of traffic.
For streets near a hospital, such traffic jams should really be prevented.