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Urban Loop: NCDOT addresses confusing traffic pattern, signage, and lighting

WFMY News 2 answers your questions about the new section of the Urban Loop.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The last leg of the Urban Loop in Greensboro is open after decades of planning and years of construction. 

While drivers are testing it out, they're also coming across some concerns. Traffic patterns, signage, and lights. 

We took some of your top concerns about the loop to NCDOT.

1. Traffic pattern at N. Elm Street junction

There's a sign on N. Elm Street that reads plain and clear 'No Left Turn.' But not everyone gets the message. Drivers still trying to go westbound on the loop from North Elm Street still struggle with the new traffic pattern. Some drivers are still turning left across traffic when they're supposed to take the new ramp on the right side of Elm Street. 

NCDOT has seen it firsthand. Other drivers are making illegal u-turns on Elm Street instead of taking the ramp on the right for I-840 West. 

Eddie Souther has seen it happening, too. 

"I usually go southbound on Elm Street, but if you're going northbound and people are used to taking that lefthand turn, a lot of people are still speeding or texting, or haven't been through the area or not paying attention to the signs, and you'll see them trying to cross three lanes of travel to get over to the right," Souther said. 

NCDOT has a plan to help drivers understand the new traffic pattern. 

"We're going to put a temporary traffic sign out there on the side of the road for a period of time to remind drivers of the new traffic pattern and encourage them to use that instead of making an unprotected left across traffic when they're not supposed to," said Aaron Moody, NCDOT spokesperson. 

2. Signage from Northbound US-29 going toward Westbound I-840 (Outer Loop)

NCDOT is also working on signage. When driving northbound on US-29, let's say you want to go westbound on the new Urban Loop. You won't see any I-840 West signs to help guide you. That's because they haven't been installed yet. NCDOT said they are working to update signage in the coming weeks. 

"We put some of the critical ones (signs) in first to get the road open in a safe, working fashion for everybody, because we know everybody was eager to get the road open and get on it to use it to get from Point A to Point B quicker, but there will be some other signs added or replaced in the coming weeks," Moody said. 

NCDOT said signed is updated for traffic heading south on US-29 to get on the loop. 

Scott Jones recently traveled the newest section and had signage concerns of his own. 

"The newest section does need to have someone look at signage a little bit closer. I think it either hasn't been put up yet because they're waiting on them or either they need to go back and take a look at what people are saying about the signage and address those issues," Jones said. 

3. More lights and markings on new section of Urban Loop

We also noticed this new stretch of loop was dark. 

NCDOT said it's still working to install more overhead lighting in the new N. Elm Street to US-29 stretch. There are also temporary road markings on the new loop section. NCDOT plans to update those once the weather warms up. 

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