Out of all the intersections in Ithaca, this is probably one of the most commonly misunderstood. The yield sign applying to traffic inbound from Route 79 is often mistaken as applying to inbound traffic from Mitchell, and inbound traffic from Route 79 often mistakes left-turning traffic outbound onto Mitchell as not having the right-of-way to turn.
Congestion is a clear issue during rush hours. Take a look at the plan overlay and the traffic count data. Over 17,000 automobile trips per day occur at this intersection, so it’s becoming vital to redevelop. In addition, cyclists and pedestrians have a tough time fighting traffic at this section. The sheer amount of traffic makes crossing the street as a pedestrian a challenge, and although there’s a bike route, taking the left turn at Mitchell on a bike is dangerous. The bicycle “jug handle” is a common design to separate cycling traffic for the purpose of turning. The idea is to separate bikes that are turning from bikes that are not turning, as well as from automobiles. See the last image in this post for a high-capacity example.