Main Gate Right Lane
/ Published September 15, 2014
Ellsworth AFB, S.D. --
The Commander' s Action Line is a forum for the Ellsworth community to make suggestions or voice concerns about Ellsworth directly to Col. Kevin Kennedy, 28th Bomb Wing commander.
On the main entrance to the base the right-hand lane (when open) is an "Only" lane going up into housing. Many people, in their haste to get in the gate, take the right-hand lane (which is usually shorter than the left-hand lane) and then illegally cut you off by getting back in the left-hand lane through a solid while line and "Only" sign in the very short distance that exists between the gate and the traffic circle. A suggestion might be to install removable posts between the lanes so that they can be removed when required but in-place during normal operations. Otherwise, sooner or later, there will be an accident there.
Thank you for your question. Changing lanes in the area you mention is allowed, though discouraged. Currently, it is not a violation of the installation traffic code, or South Dakota traffic laws, to make a lane change across a solid white line. This was part of the gate design to give our Security Forces some flexibility and enable them to optimize traffic flow at the low speeds that we drive through the gates.
Our Defenders monitor the traffic when the second lane is open and will continue to do so to ensure a safe and orderly traffic flow. When we have large crowds using the gate, such as an Open House, we have the option of using cones to route the traffic when lane changes present an increased hazard. For now, we will allow lane changes to facilitate an expeditious flow through our gates.