Tag Archives: two-way turn lane

Teens challenge mom on common driving issues

The in basket: Tracy Anderbery said in an e-mail, “I have two questions for you.

“As an adult driver I’ve been doing things that my now-driving teens say is illegal but I can’t find the answers to them in the RCW (state law).

“The first is that when I’m pulling out of a driveway onto a four-lane highway or even a busy two-lane road that has a common turn lane, I turn left from the driveway into the common turn lane, stop, and then merge into the right lanes when it’s clear. I don’t drive or travel in this lane.  If I were to wait for all four lanes to be clear, I’d never get out of the driveway.

“Second, when turning right onto Highway 305 from Lincoln Avenue, you have to turn into the carpool lane first during peak hours.  It’s illegal to travel in this lane if you don’t have more than one passenger, but if you wait for the break in the solid white line to merge, you’ll be traveling from one stop light to another in this lane which could mean a ticket.  Can I merge over the solid white line without being ticketed?”

The out basket: I told Tracy that both questions are hard to find answers to in the RCWs and involve gray areas.

The wording of the state law about two-way turn lanes (“set aside for use by vehicles making left turns“) and the state drivers’ manual (“reserved for vehicles making left turns”) make it sound like merging right isn’t allowed, I told her. But in asking law enforcement officers over the 18 years I’ve been writing Road Warrior, only one said the practice is illegal.  All others say it is a legal practice. It’s certainly safer and I do it all the time in heavy traffic.

The law does specifically forbid certain actions (traveling in a two-way turn lane farther than 300 feet, using it to pass cars in the through lane) but merging right is not among them.

As for the Highway 305 question, the white line inquiry is easy. You can legally cross a white line if you are moving into another legal travel lane. You can’t if it takes you into a non-travel lane like the shoulder or the gore areas at freeway ramps (except to stop briefly), and you can’t drive across double white lines.

The gray area here is how long you can stay in the HOV lane during the designated hours to turn right onto or off the highway. Just get out of the HOV lane as quickly as possible.



Silverdale Way two-way turn lane is a concern to reader

The in basket: Kay Daling said in an e-mail, “On Silverdale Way in front of Burger King I have witnessed many situations with too many cars trying to use the two-way left turn lane at the same time.

“People pull in, realize someone is blocking their left turn and try to pull back out into traffic to pull around and go back into the left turn lane. Others pull over, but hang out into the go ahead traffic lane  because there is not enough room for them due to so many other cars already in the lane.

“The situation just keeps getting worse as more people use Silverdale Way. This is a hazard and I was wondering if the county has any plans to address the issue, like maybe the barrier on Myhre Way blocking left turns into the driving lane next to Pet Smart.

“This area was never as bad as that on Silverdale Way and they put in a barrier.  Maybe one is needed on Silverdale Way,” Kay said.

The out basket: Jeff Shea, Kitsap County traffic engineer, says, “We currently don’t have any plans to do anything specifically at this location.  There is a proposed plan that is looking at the feasibility of installing a signal with the development of the community campus. This signal would provide access to the community campus onto Silverdale Way and, in some fashion, incorporate access to the shopping center across the street.

“Comparing this location to the location on Myhre, this location had 19 reported collisions in a five-year period (about 3.8 per year), while Myhre had nine collisions in just 13 months, well over twice the rate of Silverdale Way’s.

“That rate is just based on collisions and time.  When we do a collision rate analysis we (also) look at the volume of traffic on the road.  So the rate on Silverdale drops down dramatically due to the much higher volume of traffic it has compared to Myhre.

“On Myhre, we contacted all the property owners for their input to the decision.  Restricting this access did not impact the businesses in this complex too detrimentally.  There are two other accesses off Myhre, and RIdgetop and Mickelberry have multiple accesses.  Putting restrictions on the shopping center’s access (would) have considerable impact on the stores in the Silverdale Way complex.

“We will continue to monitor the collisions on Silverdale Way through our safety report analysis process,” Jeff said.