Entering via a designed exit

The in basket: A Road Warrior column in April that questioned the legality of turning left across the double yellow lines on Lund Avenue/Tremont Street in Port Orchard into the shopping area that includes Auto Zone brought a response from Robert Martin, who noted that the exact same alignment exists across that street at the Puerto Vallarta restaurant.

Drivers turn left across the double yellow lines going in both directions, where they meet a right-in-right-out alignment that makes it easier to turn into the half of that alignment intended for cars that are leaving.

Is that legal, he wondered.

The out basket: I wrote at the time that left turns are legal across double yellow lines unless there is a raised barrier, a yellow line 18 inches wide or wider, cross-hatching between the lines, or signs saying No Left Turn. None of those thing exist in either direction at that spot on the street. The turns, though often difficult and risky, are legal.

I wasn’t able to learn then whether turning into a roadside access designed to be an exit constitutes a traffic infraction.

So I asked again.

Commander Dale Schuster of Port Orchard police replied, “Both of these access driveways are on private property so there is no traffic violation, hence no infraction.”

The answer would be different where the access is publicly owned, which  is hard to determine when in motion. So those who do it risk a ticket in some locations, just not those two.

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