Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 4:41 PM on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Right turns also way to save fuel

Right turns only in the downtown area? What a lovely, elegant and inexpensive way to mitigate Homer's traffic congestion problem.

There is one other very compelling reason to support this idea: Right turns are more fuel efficient than waiting to go straight ahead or turn left. Right turns are often possible with little delay, and several studies point to the fact that even a slightly longer route will decrease idling time at stops enough to have a measurable fuel savings.

Even if this plan isn't officially adopted I encourage you to experiment with the strategy. I've been using it for years, and soon found a rhythm and pattern to travelling around town completing my errands in a right turn only (or at least, mostly) pattern.

There's another great way to save time and avoid congestion for those town trips: ride a bike. During the summer, when there's greater traffic, it's as quick as or quicker than driving. For a lot of folks commuting by bike to town from way out East or up on the bluff is not a reality, as the distance or hills are too daunting. However, stashing a bike in town for the Post Office and bank run is feasible, and gives you an opportunity to sneak some outside time and exercise into your day.

Whichever way you're turning as you travel around Homer, remember to look both ways before driving across bike paths or sidewalks. Thank you for watching out for cyclists and pedestrians.

Catriona Lowe