Passing legal, but not advised, into double uphill lanes

The in basket: On recent trips out to Belfair and back, I have been eying the centerline striping on the downgrade from Sunnyslope Road to Gorst on Highway 3. It begins as a double yellow line, which I would expect, but part way down, it turns into a skip stripe for downhill traffic. There a two lanes uphill and one downhill at that point

Normally a skip stripe denotes a place you can pass. I faintly recall a sign along there years ago that said something about downhill traffic having to yield to uphill traffic, but it’s been gone a long time.

I wondered if passing is legal there by crossing over the skip stripe into the uphill lanes. There is so much uphill traffic there, that even if the inside lane was empty when one started to pass, a car in the outside lane could move into the lane you’re using to pass at any moment.

I’d have to be following someone going no more than 25 miles per house before I’d dare try it.

I included a similar alignment of Highway 104 where it intersects US 101 at Discovery Bay in Jefferson County when I asked.

The out basket: State Trooper Russ Winger, who speaks for the patrol here, says, “It is legal to pass in that situation unless posted no passing. If there is traffic in the outside lane then it is not legal to pass as they have the right of way.  The downhill car must yield to all uphill traffic.”

So if there is oncoming traffic in EITHER uphill lane close enough that you can’t get back into the downhill lane before meeting it, it’s illegal to pass there.

“It is NOT advisable to do this in the area south of Gorst,” Russ said. “The speeds here are very high and traffic volume is also very high. The cross street at Division also makes this dangerous.

“It is also legal to do so in a portion of the section on US101 you describe. This is a straight section approximately two miles in length. It is also very dangerous and not advisable to pass here due to the high speeds and volume of Peninsula traffic, especially during the tourist season.

“A year or two back we had a fatality collision involving a motorcycle traveling east that had to take evasive action to avoid colliding with a vehicle making such a pass ‎traveling west. The rider died. We were not able to locate the car but had witness information that the pass occurred and was improper and dangerous,” he said.

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