What should we do with the troubles at Centre and Cypress? The short answer: leave the geometry alone (at least for now), add a stop sign on Centre northbound (heading into the intersection), and return the right-of-way to southbound traffic from Centre to Cypress. Big (and valid) complaints are masking some fundamental goodness.
The political hot potato is the backup in the northbound lanes. In the original configuration, northbound traffic backed up on Centre. Folks inconvenienced by that backup are delighted with the new configuration. The backup has shifted to Parker. My neighbors (I live just off Parker) are understandably upset. A stop sign for northbound Centre would balance the backup, traffic into the intersection would alternate from Cypress and Centre. Better than before for Centre, not quite as bad as now for Parker.
The next major issue with the new configuration is the backup to Beacon of traffic waiting for a gap to turn left onto Cypress southbound. The previous configuration gave that traffic the right-of-way over northbound traffic merging from Centre. Now, that southbound-to-Cypress traffic queues subordinate to northbound-from-Centre traffic. Adding a stop sign for northbound-from-Centre traffic will return the right-of-way to the southbound-to-Cypress drivers and eliminate the possibility of backup to Beacon.
Whatever we do, we shouldn’t return to the old configuration. Whatever problems there are with the new, those problems don’t constitute validation of the old design. The new design dramatically shortens the pedestrian crossing, slows southbound-to-Cypress traffic, and eliminates the frequent problem of impatient drivers from Centre going around more patient drivers in front of them. While the new design has created some change-related anxiety, the entire intersection reads more clearly and offers fewer opportunities for conflict.
Let’s try some small changes that should relieve the big pressures, live with the intersection for a while, and, if we do end up with a redesign, make it an improvement on both the old and the new.