Ask a Trooper: Stay to the right while turning on divided highwaysE-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your question to Duluth News Tribune, Attn: Ask the State Trooper, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802. You may remain anonymous. Read past columns at duluthnewstribune.com.
Q: I don’t know how you feel about singling out a specific problem area, so if you want to reword this go ahead, but this is the only way I know how to ask this question: The intersection in Cloquet on South Highway 33 by the Armory on one side and L&M on the other is a constant source of irritation to me. If I am heading south and want to turn onto the frontage road by L&M or make a U-turn and go north, I should stay on the right side going through the intersection, right? So many people angle the corner and snarl traffic. I have talked to people who believe this is the correct way, but that’s not the way I was taught.
A: There are a lot of similar intersection situations around the state. I have been informed that this portion of Highway 33 has been slated for construction in the future, changing the intersection to right turns only, which should improve the safety for drivers trying to cross Highway 33. However, I spoke with local troopers and local officers about it. They said: “The east- and west-bound traffic should stay to the right when crossing Highway 33 into the L&M parking lot or onto Armory Road.” They also said: “Problems occur when vehicles stop in the intersections and block the lanes of traffic or turn lanes. Vehicles should not enter the intersection unless they can be reasonably sure they can clear the intersection.”
Local officers told me, “This is one of the most dangerous intersections that we have in our city, with several accidents reported each year. Drivers should enter the intersections with caution and attempt to make eye contact with any other drivers that may enter the intersection at the same time.”
I hope this helps until the intersection is changed. Thanks to the other troopers and local officers for their insight and information, and thank you for asking.
Sgt. Curt S. Mowers is a regional public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol.