A turn lane in now a fast lane on a busy west Omaha street. The change is intended to make the nearby Dodge expressway safer.
Northbound 168th street is now two lanes instead of one. Drivers at three intersections can still turn left into neighborhoods. However traffic will be coming up behind them at 45 miles an hour. Wayne Rasmussen lives in one of those neighborhoods. Wayne said, "If the cars behind you are not watching they're going to hit you because they don't like to slow down. I have to put my turn signal on real early just to let these cars know that I'm turning."
The change was made to make the Dodge expressway safer. The exit at 168th street often backs up during the evening rush. That puts vehicles waiting on the exit in harms way as traffic on Dodge speeds by at 65 miles an hour.
Omaha City Engineer Todd Pfitzer said, "There are enough gaps in the movement on 168th so people can continue to make left turns into the neighborhood. It has eliminated the stacking on the expressway."
The city will monitor 168th between West Dodge and Blondo to see if accidents increase do to the lane change. It may be a decade before the city has funding to widen the 168th street.