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Officers enforcing street restrictions
A blue car pulled up to the Avenue B traffic light and waited patiently to make a left turn from the eastbound lane of 16th Street.
The driver sat as vehicles driving west passed her by and vehicles behind her honked in almost unison for her to get out of the way and pay attention to the three signs she had just driven past.
No left turn.
After two light cycles, the driver trying to turn left decided to go straight instead, allowing the cars that had backed up almost a mile behind her continue on their way.
That scenario played out several times Wednesday afternoon as The Sun watched motorists drive up and down 16th Street and attempt to make a left turn onto Avenue B, despite several signs telling them not to.
The restrictions are in effect because of a water line project by the city of Yuma that involves the installation of a 36-inch underground pipe from the city's 16th Street water tanks near Interstate 8 to the Avenue B and 16th Street intersection.
To help motorists pay attention to the restrictions, Yuma Police Department officers have begun parking near the intersection to hand out tickets, said Sgt. David Brownlie. He said the department will have an officer at the intersection during the daylight hours, which tend to be the busiest.
"That's where we are having constant violators that are just blowing off the signs and turning anyway," he said. "Even when we're out there, they keep running it."
There is no restriction on Avenue B, but Brownlie said motorists should be careful to slow down while driving through the intersection and to be sure to read all the signs.
While work is being done near the intersection, vehicles traveling east and west on 16th Street will not be able to turn left onto Avenue B to allow for the smooth flow of traffic. Aside from the right-turn lane, vehicle have access to only the straight lane, which is the one some motorists are using to turn left.
"Anyone stopping to turn left is slowing up all the other traffic," Brownlie said. "They need to obey the signs. If we catch them committing a violation against the sign, they are going to be cited."