Yes, Driving on Freeway ‘Gores’ is Considered Against the Law

The in basket: I noticed in driving on Highway 18 between Auburn and I-90 lately that many of the areas between freeway on-ramps and the main line, called “gores” in the highway business, have a series of painted or raised-dot Vs connecting the two white lines.
I suspected they are to raise a question in the driver’s mind about whether he or she should be driving there (it’s against the law), but I haven’t seen any of the chevrons in our area. I asked about them.


The in basket: I noticed in driving on Highway 18 between Auburn and I-90 lately that many of the areas between freeway on-ramps and the main line, called “gores” in the highway business, have a series of painted or raised-dot Vs connecting the two white lines.
I suspected they are to raise a question in the driver’s mind about whether he or she should be driving there (it’s against the law), but I haven’t seen any of the chevrons in our area. I asked about them.
The out basket: Greg Phipps of the Northwest Region of state highways says that in his region, “chevron-like Vs are used in new projects that are in a urban and/or congested areas,
either painted on or placed using button pavement markers.
“They are part of WSDOT’s standard plans and all regions have the option to use them,” he said. (They) help enforce the message that drivers shouldn’t cross the gore area, Crossing the gore area increases the likelihood of accidents and increases merging conflicts.”
Many drivers don’t realize that it’s considered driving off the roadway and hence a violation when one enters the gore area in merging onto a freeway instead of traveling the length of the inside white line and then merging in. I didn’t, until I started writing this column.
I suspect this mention will generate a question from some of the readers who recall and occasionally inquire about a plan of 10 years ago to install upright pylons on the white lines on each side of the gore where Highway 304 and 3 merge west of Bremerton. The state ultimately decided that it wasn’t worth the money in installation and upkeep and they haven’t changed their minds.
I don’t see drivers crossing the gore there nearly as often as those who ask about the pylons tell me it happens, and am a little puzzled by what I witness when I do see it.
In other locations, those crossing the gore are usually impatient drivers who want to get ahead of outside lane traffic they want to go faster than. But west of Bremerton, I see more violators crossing to the outside lane than to the inside. I don’t understand the motive. Are they heading for Belfair and worried they won’t be able to make the lane change in the two miles before they get into Gorst?

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