How about a post to prevent illegal right turns?

The in basket: Keith W. Oien writes, “I have finally reached my limit regarding drivers driving on the shoulder of the road to bypass cars stopped at red lights, to make right hand turns.
“Every day, I see cars doing this at the Fairgrounds Road/Central Valley Road intersection, and at the Waaga Way southbound exit to northbound Central Valley Road,” he said.
“I am 99.9 percent sure it is illegal to drive on the shoulder of the road to pass traffic to make right hand turns, and it creates a very hazardous situation for pedestrians waiting at the intersection.


The in basket: Keith W. Oien writes, “I have finally reached my limit regarding drivers driving on the shoulder of the road to bypass cars stopped at red lights, to make right hand turns.
“Every day, I see cars doing this at the Fairgrounds Road/Central Valley Road intersection, and at the Waaga Way southbound exit to northbound Central Valley Road,” he said.
“I am 99.9 percent sure it is illegal to drive on the shoulder of the road to pass traffic to make right hand turns, and it creates a very hazardous situation for pedestrians waiting at the intersection. The Fairgrounds Road/Central Valley Road intersection gets heavy pedestrian traffic from kids going to Woodlands Elementary, Fairgrounds Junior High and Olympic High School every day. 
“I have a simple solution,” he said. “Just put a sturdy pole at each corner, strategically placed to prevent cars from using the shoulder to make a right turn but far enough off the road to not be a hazard.
“I asked my boys (now grown) if they ever had a problem with cars doing this when they were walking to school, and they said it was a common occurrence to have to dodge cars taking this ‘shortcut,'” Keith said.
The out basket: Yes, shouldere driving is illegal, but road engineers are reluctant to add obstacles on the roadside, which create their own accident and liability issues.
Jeff Shea of Kitsap County Public Works says, the guidelines from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials “identify a recommended minimum ‘clear zone’ distance from the roadway that no obstacles should be in. This clear zone gets wider as the speed of the roadway increases and the slope of the shoulder and ditch play a big part in needed width.
“The minimum width is a 10 feet flat area for all roadways 35 mph and slower. In the recent past it stipulated that that distance could be reduced if the obstacle was behind a curb, (but) that has since been removed since a curb does little to stop an errant vehicle.
“But you will see many of these instances still exist. If the obstacle can’t be moved from the clear zone than there are a few options. You can make it break-away, so vehicles that hit it will simply shear off the post (our street signs are designed this way), or the obstacle can be shielded by a barrier (such as guardrail), or as a last resort (least desirable) it can simply be posted with a warning sign.
“There are some older posts, signals and other obstacles currently in the clear zone on county roads, but new equipment is outside the clear zone, breakaway or shielded by a barrier.”
Keith might campaign from a row of those short rubber pylons, which would be breakaway, but those would be a different kind of hazard for pedestrians and an obstacle for bicycles and the disabled.

3 thoughts on “How about a post to prevent illegal right turns?

  1. I agree that this is a problem. It can easily be solved by the sheriffs office enforcing the rules of the road, which seems very lacking in this county.
    I also see cars making left turns cutting across my lane as I am coming to a stop. Sometimes I have to slam on my brakes to avoid a head on collision because they are in my lane.
    Mediums at intersections could solve this problem (also enforcement by the sheriff).

  2. That would be a great place to put in a sidewalk. It would help the pedestrians and prevent drivers from going on the shoulder.

  3. I’ve had people pass me on the right while stopped at a light…they’ve carefully gotten to the corner, stopped, checked for traffic and pedestrians before making their right turn. I thought it saved time and harmed no one.

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