Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tuesday Tip - Two Way Left Turn Lane

Becoming more commonly used in the City, the two-way or center left turn lane is often misunderstood. California Vehicle Code defines the two-way left turn lane and allows entry into the lane for only two purposes; preparing for and making a left turn or entering traffic. Travel in this lane is restricted to 200 feet.

This IS NOT a passing lane. It is not uncommon to find drivers using the two-way left turn lane on El Monte Avenue for passing stopped traffic waiting in line at stop signs. This is a violation and will be cited. It is also illegal to use this style lane for passing slower traffic.

In order to make a lawful left turn, you must enter this middle lane and then complete the turn. Making a left turn across the middle lane from through traffic would be considered an improper turning movement.

Crossing the middle lane and entering the through traffic is acceptable when entering the roadway from an intersecting driveway, alley or property. It would be allowable to enter the middle lane and wait for traffic to clear in order to safely enter the flow of through traffic as well.


Anonymous said...

Its great that your posting this type of information on the net! People need better access to the police department, because it is just to difficult to call in to ask superfluous questions. Quite frankly, I feel like I'm bothering the police personnel, because it seems like it is pretty busy in Arcadia...at least from what I hear on my scanner. Hopefully, people will engage more with the police, as long as they keep it professional! Thanks for the info, I will make sure I tell my homeowners association.

Richie said...

What about if the traffic is backed up and you want to turn left at the interestion up ahead and there are no other intersections in between?

Can a person use the Two Way left turn lane in order to get to the left turn lane up ahead to cut down on congestion?

Thanks for starting this blog.

APDGuru said...

Good question...here's the answer:

Vehicle Code Section 21460.5(c) states:
" a vehicle shall not be driven in a designated two-way left turn lane... for more than 200 feet while preparing for a left turn."

So if your distance from the intersection is 200 feet or less, you may use the two-way turn lane for passing the stopped traffic to make a left turn.

Hope that helps!

Da Guru

APOA Voice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
APOA Voice said...

Richie, thanks for posting! Aside from the CVC section, if you were to pass in the lane and become involved in a collision, you would most likely be found at fault.

Congestion is indeed a problem, especially near the schools. Best advice is to try alternate streets or adjust the leave time a bit. Ten minutes can make a huge difference on some streets.