At approximately 5:20pm this evening, I will be driving home westbound on Belmont Street between Plantation and Shrewsbury Streets.
This has never been my favorite part of my commute.
The street was previously a washerboard, and was then scarified with minimal (or nonexistent) lane markings.
But at least the need to to focus on which lane I was driving in distracted me from the “acorn lights.”
For the past week or so, this stretch of Belmont Street has been an absolute disaster.
Yes, they’ve paved the street quite decently.
Yes, they’ve painted lane markers.
The problem is that “they” have painted lane markers that create an extra middle lane right before Plantation Street (no complaints there!) and then make it mush back into the original middle lane rather abruptly somewhere between Plantation and Shrewsbury.
I would have taken a picture of this, but I’m desperately trying to avoid an accident whenever a good picture presents itself.
You see, there are always a few people who find the phantom lane and decide to drive in it. Those people tend to be made up of two distinct categories: (1) people with out-of-state plates, and (2) Worcesterites who can’t believe their good luck that the city might finally resolve the “will the guy in front of me in the middle lane stop abruptly at the ‘no left turn’ signal when I want to go straight” conundrum.
Unfortunately, a short way up the road, right before everyone’s favorite bus stop, the phantom lane suddenly ends and gets merged back into the middle lane.
This means that a finger is invariably raised, an accident is deftly avoided, and/or an out-of-stater becomes mightily confused.
A fourth lane to relieve the “will he or won’t he make a left turn” middle lane tension would be welcome, but the disappearing lane is going to cause an accident very soon.
ETA, 8:30pm – I noticed that the phantom lane lines have been (mostly) painted over, but the sun was so bright that it shone on the painted-over areas and it still looked like a separate lane (and motorists were treating it as such). So, the phantom lane lives on.