Why You’re Doing This Twin Falls Intersection All Wrong
If you’ve lived in Twin Falls for at least a minute, you’ve likely found yourself frustrated or confused by one specific intersection that may very well be the most misunderstood in town. The good news is that a simple solution might make it less confusing, as long as we all play by the rules.
Twin Falls Most Misunderstood Intersection: Washington and 2nd Avenue West
I’m betting that you knew what intersection I was talking about before you even finished reading the headline. Washington and 2nd Avenue West has got to be one of the worst intersections in Twin. The intersection itself can be confusing, more so for newcomers, and it’s especially problematic for northbound traffic.
Options without indication
The biggest issue with this intersection is that there are too many variables and not enough people indicating their intentions.
Traffic heading south on Washington have two choices as they approach 2nd Ave West:
- From the inside lane, you can turn onto 2nd
- From the outside lane, you can choose: Either turn onto 2nd or continue straight on Washington
And it’s that outside lane that causes the problem.
Drivers don’t signal when they turn left from Washington onto 2nd Avenue West
Nine times out of ten, cars in that outside lane forget or refuse to signal when they turn left onto 2nd. I suspect it’s because they feel like they don’t have to signal. After all, it’s a soft left, and it seems like you’re turning with the flow of the road. While it might feel that way, it’s not. When you’re turning left from Washington onto 2nd, you’re crossing oncoming traffic onto a different street. Just because it’s not a hard left, doesn’t mean you don’t have to signal.
When you don’t signal, you’re holding up northbound traffic at the stop sign
Vehicles heading north at this intersection must yield to oncoming traffic crossing 2nd Ave, waiting for turn signals that never come. You're holding up northbound traffic when you don’t indicate that you’re turning left onto 2nd. Those who’ve lived in Twin long enough know that just because you see a car in that outside lane without a signal, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are going straight. We’ve seen enough cars turn left here without a blinker, so we hold back at the stop sign rather than play a game of turn signal roulette.
Solution: Top off your blinker fluid
If northbound drivers at the stop sign know which way you're heading early enough, they might have time to go, provided nobody is turning from the inside lane. So, use that left blinker when you want to turn onto 2nd , and (hear me out) use your RIGHT blinker when you want to go STRAIGHT.
You want me to what?
I know, it sounds strange to use a blinker when you’re going straight, but it speaks volumes to people sitting at the stop sign. When you use a right blinker here, you’re telling the oncoming traffic that you aren’t going to cross in front of them. And if the coast is otherwise clear, they are free to go. Problem solved. In fact, I bet you’ve seen a car or two using their right blinker here, and now you know why.
It only works if you do it soon enough
If you’re still with me and you’re on board, there’s just one more thing. The key to this is ensuring signals are used early enough to help the northbound traffic. If you wait to use your blinker at the last minute, you’re as helpful as solar power on a cloudy day. Drivers at that stop sign need to know your intentions just after you’ve passed through the light at the intersection of Washington and Addison.