If anyone's ever tried to take High Street between, say, Maxwell Park or the Laurel to 880 or Alameda during the day, especially about 2-7pm, knows this horrific backup.
Here's the situation: There are two lanes of traffic in each direction, no left turn lanes, no median barrier, no bike lanes, sidewalks abutting lanes of traffic (ie, no room to widen the street). The traffic light is on the simplest cycle imaginable: green for International, green for High, repeat.
When the light turns green for High Street, traffic in the left lane almost invariably wants to turn left, and has to yield to oncoming traffic, blocking the left lane for most of the cycle of the light. Meanwhile, traffic in the right lane has to yield to the high volume of pedestrian traffic in the neighborhood, which can easily block the right lane. It is not uncommon for traffic to only be able to advance a couple of car lengths per green. To make matters worse, few drivers signal their intentions to turn, at best at the last second when it is too late to get out of their lane!
While I don't expect any progress on Oakland driving etiquette, A left turn lane would alleviate a lot of this traffic. Perhaps signs at Courtland and 880 advising through traffic to take SR 77 (42nd Avenue).
Here's my ideal situation for this intersection: approaching International on High (in either direction), there would be, from right to left, a right turn lane, a through traffic lane, a left turn lane, and the opposing through traffic lane, coupled with signalized left turns, in all four directions (there is already a left turn lane on International, but no separate signal phase). This geometry involves some slight weaving in the intersection, but only about as much as there currently is at High and Foothill. Of course, it means that technically, this would create a bottleneck as two lanes in each direction merge into only one, but one lane that actually moves would be a remarkable improvement over none!
I have to drive this stretch of road multiple times a day, and I just can't believe how long this dysfunctional intersection has remained unchanged. Thank you!