Intersections: Lanes Cont'd

Shared Turn Lanes

In larger boulevards, you may find that left turn lanes are shared.  This sign shown may be present at shared turn lanes.

This can be unnerving and uncomfortable at first, because vehicles coming from different directions and wanting to make their left turns will be traveling directly in each other’s pathways. Study the diagram below:

center lane turn sign only

Let’s assume that you are in one of the blue cars in the diagram, and your friend is in the other. Both of you want to make a left turn. What must you do? Slow, signal your intent to the vehicles behind them, and then each eases into the middle turn lane. Note how each of you has the white left turn arrow. Do you see a potential problem with this shared left lane?

Obviously, if each blue car continues toward one another in the left lane without turning, they will eventually hit each other. Each car cannot remain in this left turn lane for more than 150 feet before completing the turn, which is usually at the end of the block.

Notice that the center left turn lane has a solid yellow line on its outer edge, and a broken yellow line inside. The solid yellow means you cannot use this lane for passing cars, and the broken inside line tells drivers that vehicles in this turn lane can only use it for a left turn.

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