If you aren't familiar with the Prides Corner intersection in Westbrook where Route 302, Pride Street and Brook Street meet, you had better keep a sharp eye out when you approach it or you could end up in an accident.

I travel through this intersection daily on my way to work, but it's the return trip home heading west on Route 302 that the problems occur from which, in my humble opinion, is a poorly designed flow of traffic.

Westbound traffic on Route 302 heading toward Windham is two lanes at Prides Corner with the left lane for turning left only and the right lane for continuing straight or turning right onto Brook Street. You can see the signs mounted next to the traffic light designating what traffic in each lane can do and painted on the road.

Google Maps
Google Maps

The problem occurs with traffic going straight. What was a straight or turn right lane at the light, suddenly becomes a left turn only lane in a mere 400 feet. This is where so many things go wrong. Drivers don't realize soon enough that they have to move to the left lane and quickly move over to the right cutting off another car. Worse yet, they don't realize the lane is right turn only at all and before they can react, they hit the guardrail when the lane ends.

On Wednesday afternoon, a two-car accident happened right where the right turn lane ends. The Westbrook Fire Department reported that there were injuries and we hope all involved are okay.

This almost happened to me one time when a car I thought was going to turn left since they were in the right turn lane suddenly ran out of road and darted just in front of me in the left lane.

There is a sign that reads "Right lane must turn right," but it's easily missed. Maybe they can get a sign with flashing LEDs like some stop signs have to get drivers' attention.

Google Maps
Google Maps

I really don't know what the solution is to this. The left turn lane really can't function for traffic turning left and going straight. Traffic would likely backup in that lane and cause people to switch lanes making things even more dangerous. But something has to be done because there have been several accidents and a ton of close calls at Prides Corner with the way traffic flows now.

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