How To Navigate The Poplar Bridge Construction (Without Being A Jerk)
If you are a frequent traveler on the west side of Casper, you have no doubt encountered the construction on the Poplar Street bridge.
The construction project is a necessary one. The bridge was in need of repair and a much needed walking path is being added. Like most road construction projects, traffic is impacted and it becomes a bit of an inconvenience for drivers. Since the road crews need to get their job done, traffic has been adjusted to singles lanes in both directions. This is a pretty busy street so it is no surprise that many are feeling the bother on a daily basis, but this is no reason to drive a like jerk. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the area without being THAT GUY.
1.) Right Lane Is Turn ONLY
If you are traveling north and are in the right lane at the Poplar and First Street intersection, TURN RIGHT! There are numerous signs posted giving you this exact instruction. I understand there are many folks out there who think they are being sneaky by ignoring the sign so they can speed ahead of the cars in the left lane. Spoiler alert: You are NOT a genius. You are a jerk. In your quest to shave time off of your commute, you have added time to others' who are trying to turn right onto First Street but can't because there is a genius at the front of the line. You're time isn't more valuable than others jerk. Just turn right.
2.) Don't Speed Through The Construction Zone
The lanes on the bridge are narrow and the crews are trying to get their job done, so don't be a jerk by speeding through the orange cones. Don't drive 35 MPH, don't drive 30 MPH, drive the recommended 20 MPH. This helps ensure a safer work environment for the road crews and a safer driving experience for traffic in both directions. Let's face it, as far as construction zones go, this one is pretty short. It won't kill you to take your time across the bridge. You will be in and out of it quickly. I promise.
3.) Don't 'Sleep' Through The Green Lights
The left lane that takes you across the bridge gets pretty congested. Sometimes you will have to wait your turn in line through multiple lights. That is just a fact of the matter. You WILL have to wait. But, pay attention when the light turns green. Put your phone down (you shouldn't be looking at it while driving anyways) and be ready for your turn. There is nothing worse than thinking "Finally, I will be able to make it though on this green light after waiting through three of them" only to see the person at the front of the line isn't paying attention and wastes the first ten seconds of the light. This royally screws over most of the cars behind you and forces them to sit through another light cycle. Pay attention and think about the others behind you. Failure to do this will earn you some angry honks and a one way trip to 'stankeye-ville'. Jerk.
4.) Don't Try To Beat The Red Light
If the light turns yellow before you are in the intersection, STOP! Ya I get it, you were this close, but you should never try to beat the light, you won't win. This intersection is notorious for car crashes and a majority of them are caused by someone running a red light. It sucks you have to wait through another light cycle, but it is better than hurting another motorist and possibly yourself. Use good judgement and don't be a jerk.
BONUS: How To Use A Double Left-Turn Lane (Some people still don't get it)