The 51st Street and Yale Avenue intersection received improvements in recent years that eliminated a traffic hazard on 51st Street. Until late 1980, the 51st Street approaches did not have left-turn lanes, which made for a dangerous situation. There were passing lanes, but it often was difficult to see around vehicles waiting to turn left from the opposite direction, which made for many near misses and, in some cases, collisions. The future left-turn signals were in place on 51st Street, but they contained a solid green lens and operated with the regular signal lights. Yale Avenue had left-turn lanes. The 1977 bond issue provided funds to widen 51st Street to four lanes from Marion Avenue (near Harvard Avenue) to Memorial Drive, which included widening the 51st Street approaches at Yale Avenue to four lanes with left-turn lanes and a right-turn lane for westbound traffic. The project began in 1978 with the section between Sheridan Road and Memorial Drive going to contract and was finished in December 1980 with the activation of left-turn signals on 51st Street at Yale Avenue. The project also included replacing a bridge on 51st Street over a Joe Creek tributary near Darlington Avenue, which resulted in 51st Street being closed for several months in 1979. Traffic flow today is heavy on Yale Avenue during peak hours, and the street is overloaded, but there are no funds available to improve the street at this time. The left-turn signal conversion was made earlier in 1982, which also eliminated right-turn arrows for all but westbound traffic. In the distance on top of the hill is 71st Street and Yale Avenue, which is two lanes and scheduled to be widened within the next few years. A crane above the southbound traffic signal’s mast arm stands on the site of Warren Place, which is a new office complex being built at 61st Street and Yale Avenue. The Resource Science Center is visible in the distance near 66th Street and Yale Avenue. Saint Francis Hospital can be seen in the distance on the left (behind the trees), with the Warren Professional Building adjacent to Yale Avenue. Photo taken June 1982.
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