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Driving on Route 17

Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Bob Joseph/WNBF News

Yesterday on my way home from work after leaving the station,  I got up on Rt.17 and started driving West towards my house in Endicott. As I was driving I knew it was going to be one of those commutes.

Why is it when people drive Route 17 and they get to the Airport Road Exit, the right lane starts bottling up. There really is no reason for this. People start getting into the right-hand lane there anticipating their exit on the mall ramp. So they get in the far right lane. and even though the speed limit is 55, everybody drops down to 45 or 40. Why? That exit ramp is long enough for you to exit doing 55 and slow down to a safe speed to merge in onto route 201. Then you get the people that are in the middle lane, that are trying to pass the people going 15 miles an hour below the speed limit, and they realize that they have to take either the Mall Exit or the Vestal Exit, so they try and merge which causes a backup in the Middle Lane.

Then you have those people in the right-hand Lane that are going to Vestal. They start slowing down anticipating the traffic coming from 201 merging on Route 17. And as they’re trying to get into that leader lane to take exit 70 South 201 to Vestal, that’s when the merge dance begins. Everybody speeds up, then they realize the person next to them sped up, so they slow down and the person next to them slows down because they saw them speed up. The clover leaf-leader lanes are the problem. They should never have been allowed when the highway was built. A simple on and off ramp would solve a lot of the issues. I understand that these save space, but they cause more issues than they solve.

And to top it all off, you get those people who just like driving slow, and stay in the right-hand lane from Airport Road all the way up to Exit 66 Endwell just so they could drive slow which causes more headaches for people trying to exit and enter Route 17 from 201.

When it comes to driving roads in this area, that stretch of road right there has to be the most frustrating. Do the speed limit people! Especially when your exit is a mile away.

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