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.