What Is The Weirdest Traffic Pattern?

Illustration for article titled What Is The Weirdest Traffic Pattern?
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Traffic patterns try to organize the chaos that are our daily commutes. However, sometimes they get extremely weird. What is the weirdest traffic pattern out there?


Erin Marquis started our office Slack discussion on this with a real head-scratcher: the Michigan Left.

What is a Michigan Left? Oh, buckle up because this is going to be a wild ride. Apparently, Michiganders have these intersections where instead of turning left, they pull a U-turn then turn right. Other times, they take a right then pull a U-turn. To someone outside of Michigan like myself, this setup seems absolutely bonkers. Why add extra steps to turning left?

According to Michigan Department of Transportation traffic and safety administrator, Kelby Wallace, the Michigan Left reduces crashes by 30 to 60 percent, WDET 101.9 FM reports.

Huh, that’s actually pretty spectacular.

Our Norman Mayersohn offers his own confusing anecdote:

In Melbourne, Australia, where you’re already driving on the wrong side of the road, you must make right turns from the extreme left lane. The traffic light is supposed to cover you, but it’s still a scary deal. Especially when it had just been pouring buckets, you’re on an unfamiliar motorcycle and you have to cross highly polished steel streetcar tracks.

That just sounds like a whole lot of nope right there!

A town near me in Wisconsin has deployed a double roundabout at the intersection of a few major roads. These aren’t hard to navigate if you pay attention to the signs, but it’s not uncommon to see near-misses as people figure out what’s going on.


What weird traffic patterns do you know about? Are there some roads you avoid because of their traffic pattern designs?

Staff Writer at Jalopnik and learning pilot. Smart Fortwo (x4), Honda Beat, Suzuki Every, AmTran Bus, VW Jetta TDI (x2), VW Touareg, Audi TT, Buell Lightning, Triumph Tiger, Genuine Stella...


How about 6 roundabouts all joined together.