Green arrows necessary despite lack of turn lane


Green arrows necessary despite lack of turn lane

At the intersection where Colorado Highway 3 joins U.S. Highway 550 before Walmart, the southbound lanes of 550 have two green arrows that are always on. If left turns aren’t an option there, what’s the point of this? Are left turns going to be allowed there in the future or what? Sign me, Curious Commuter

The Highway 3 “light to nowhere” is not unique. They are featured just down the road at the Farmington Hill interchange, where folks driving westbound have always-on green arrows, too.

The arrows are there as a precaution, according to our friend Nancy Shanks, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation.

T-shaped intersections can be tricky. The lanes forming the top of the “T” are a traffic throughway, while lanes cutting across the middle of the “T” feature stoplights for turning traffic.

Suppose you are a driver rolling into Durango from the west. You get to the Farmington Hill interchange, and all the other lanes have stoplights except yours. What do you do? How are you supposed to act?

Without those two green always-on arrows, a few people would get confused and panicky; they inevitably stop in the middle of the highway. And you know what would happen then.

Always-on green arrows let there be no doubt that it’s OK to proceed, unlike the flashing yellow arrows that have proliferated throughout Durango and offer an amber strobe-light disco quality to our intersections.

Perhaps our flashing yellow arrows could inspire someone to organize a Harlem Shake video that synchs with blinks.

If you don’t know what a Harlem Shake is, Google it, then visit This is a Fort Lewis College shake video posted to YouTube on Feb. 19.

And now you know why Mrs. Action Line couldn’t wait for Spring Break to come.


It’s time once again for the Mea Culpa Mailbag, with some observations arriving PDQ regarding last week’s question about ADUs.

As you might recall, the column chronicled Bruce Garlick’s prank on the city. Upset at a perceived lack of attention paid to plans to allow more garage conversions and apartment additions, he placed a classified ad online telling people to call about “absolutely free building lots in Durango Colorado for up to 500 lucky people.”

The phone number on the ad was for the city’s planning department, which received a couple dozen calls about the offer.

One anonymous reader summed up the fears of many.

“First come the ADUs, raising the density of the neighborhood. Then, like in Denver, come the people who buy single-unit dwellings in a neighborhood, scrap the house and build a fourplex or sixplex. Think of the extra cars, garbage and sewage impact on the city,” the reader points out.

“Durango needs to think hard about this issue. What a great way to downgrade a nice family neighborhood.”

On the other side of the issue is Chad Nystrom, who was livid that Action Line failed to mention Bruce Garlick owns a number of rental properties.

“That is the reason that he is against the ADUs,” Chad wrote. “Any real journalist would have added that.”

Chad chided: “No one can afford the rents in this town, and you can’t see why we need (ADUs)? You guys are trying to make this a town of nothing but rich folks on vacation.”

He admonished Action Line to “put some actual humor in your articles if they are supposed to be comedy! I make my living roofing homes in this town, we all need that work, and I don’t appreciate you or Bruce Garlick and (his) scam!”

Chad was angry that the hoax needlessly distracted city staff members. He asked: “Is Bruce facing charges for wasting the time of people like myself who called to find out about these ‘free lots’ ... ?”

Email questions to or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you can scarcely believe daylight saving time begins next Sunday.

Green arrows necessary despite lack of turn lane

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