Odd left turns on Lund raise a question


The in basket: Ron Galla of Port Orchard asks whether the numerous drivers he sees turning left across the double yellow line on westbound Lund Avenue just west of Bethel Road are committing a violation.

“When these cars have to stop and wait to cross the double yellow lines because of oncoming traffic, it creates a real hazard to the cars behind them, some times slamming on their brakes,” he said.

“There is nowhere for these cars in the rear to go, as both lanes are usually full of traffic coming off of the Bethel/Lund intersection heading west.

“Then it is also a hazard when they finally cross the double yellow lines because of oncoming traffic, traveling east toward Bethel, not expecting someone to cross in front of them.”

Ron suggests a barrier of pylons like the one preventing left turns out of the Port Orchard Post Office as a solution to the hazard.

“By the way,” he added, “the entrance / exit to that parking lot is not designed to allow this turn, nor is it designed to allow traffic exiting to cross over the double yellow lines and continue west on Lund Avenue

The out basket: I was a little surprised by the question, as the long lines of would-be left turners in the eastbound left turn pocket to head toward downtown there, often spilling out into the inside through lane, are a lot more noticeable than left turners going the other way. I guess just after the green cycles on the signal at Lund there are opportunities to cross the double yellow lines to reach Auto Zone and the other businesses in there.

Ron starts with a common misconception, that left turns across double-yellow lines are illegal.

They are legal in most cases. Double yellow lines prohibit passing, but not turning left.

None of the exceptions that would make the turns illegal – painted or raised cross-hatching between the lines, a raised curb, an 18-inch-wide or wider painted line, or signs saying or depicting “No Left Turn – are present there.

The access configuration designed for right turns in and right turns out make left turns difficult, but not illegal.

Commander Dale Schuster of Port Orchard police says, “Many more vehicles are exiting the parking lot to turn left onto westbound Lund Avenue than those waiting to turn into the lot from westbound Lund Avenue. I do not believe we have responded to a traffic accident at that location due to turning traffic.”

One thought on “Odd left turns on Lund raise a question

  1. I think the biggest problem with people stopping to make the left is not really the cars behind the stopped car, because normally the person turning is going to turn on their turn signal. But I think the biggest concern would be the idiot drivers coming the opposite direction who just come to a complete stop in traffic to let this person turning, turn. I see the same situation on Central Valley road. Now while there is no double yellow lines, I see cars stop when they are at speed to let a car turn and have seen plenty of fender benders and brake slamming because of this. Now while some of those drivers think they are being nice to those drivers turning, are really making those behind them angry and all that causes is road rage. I am not for sure if it is illegal to stop in a lane to allow a car to turn but what happens when it causes an accident?Me personally, I don’t turn, I will wait for an opening in traffic. Now if I see someone waiting to turn, I will try to slow down a little to give room between cars, but never stop. I know this was off topic from original story, but it seemed like a pretty good place to comment.

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