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Old 01-28-2014, 04:20 PM   #1
390beretta OP
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The left turn lane

I live and ride a lot in PHX. AZ. Lately I've noticed a lot of cagers using the left turn lane as a "safe place" when they want to turn left. They typically dart into the left turn lane when traffic coming from their left permits. Then, coast/drive slowly, sometimes blinker on/sometimes not, indicating their intention to move to the right when possible.

I have two questions: 1. What is your strategy for handling this type of situation? 2. Is this maneuver legal where you live? It used to be illegal here, but I've never seen it enforced; not sure if it's currently legal.

My typical response when this happens is to move to the far right of my lane (assuming I'm in the lane next to the left turn lane and check my right mirror to see if I can escape to that lane should the person encroach on my lane, thus evading. If my right lane is not clear, I typically cover the brakes and slow down.......but this move still pisses me off.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:29 PM   #2
WhichWayNow
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Here in Idaho, you're only allowed to drive 150 feet in the center turn lane. I encounter people doing the same thing all of the time.

The really dangerous situation is when I'm trying to turn left and one of these morons is driving in the center lane. They're usually looking at the traffic coming from behind them and not where they are going. I've had to ride on past where I was planning on turning to avoid being run over.
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:02 AM   #3
TinDog
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Illegal in Utah

Sure, it happens all the time here. All too often the center turn strip is used as a defacto merge lane to get into traffic from the opposite side of the road, but Utah traffic law doesn't allow for even a bit of merge type use. When entering the road, the law here calls to simply cross the strip and into your lane; if you can't pull into traffic without using the center strip, you shouldn't pull into traffic at all per our traffic law.

I think most of the illegal use I see is from ignorance of the law, rather than deliberately breaking the law. My overly cautious model citizen spouse received one of her two lifetime traffic warnings for using the center lane to merge - she had no idea.
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:20 AM   #4
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This is becoming prevalent here, in Chicago-land. It makes me mad, too. I try to make myself as visible as possible (slight weaves) and keep an eagle-eye on the cage. Some cage drivers are observant and look for an opening, others just floor it and everyone else be damned.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:57 AM   #5
jmq3rd
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Luckily Texas is one of those states where u-turns are legal unless indicated otherwise, so if I can't get across a busy street, I just turn right and do a u-turn at the next opportunity.

And no, it doesn't stop everybody else from using the left turn lane as a merge lane.
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:41 PM   #6
Jamie Z
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SOP in this area. Doesn't bother me at all. I do it too.

If I'm on a road and someone is turning left into the suicide lane, I just watch carefully to make sure they aren't pulling into my space. Same as I would do for any car potentially in my path.

No idea if the move is legal or not. I've never seen anyone stopped for it, and I've never been stopped for it.

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Old 01-29-2014, 04:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Z View Post
SOP in this area. Doesn't bother me at all. I do it too.

If I'm on a road and someone is turning left into the suicide lane, I just watch carefully to make sure they aren't pulling into my space. Same as I would do for any car potentially in my path.

No idea if the move is legal or not. I've never seen anyone stopped for it, and I've never been stopped for it.

Jamie
When I'm pulling out of a driveway turning left onto a multi lane road that has a center left turn lane, if I can't get a 2 way break in traffic, I'll wait until I can get across into the turn lane and wait there until the other side of the road is clear.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:26 AM   #8
RogueClimber
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I just plan on them moving across all the lanes to wherever I am and them trying to run me over.

Of course this also goes for the asshats taking right turns and crossing all the way to the inside lane too.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:58 PM   #9
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I looked at the links. Don't they still turn left across traffic when they do the u-turn?

Actually looks very much less safe to me.
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:02 PM   #10
ttpete
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Originally Posted by jmq3rd View Post
I looked at the links. Don't they still turn left across traffic when they do the u-turn?

Actually looks very much less safe to me.
No. You make a u turn through the median and go straight through the intersection, and there's usually a stoplight at the u turn to make it easier.
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:52 PM   #11
jmq3rd
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No. You make a u turn through the median and go straight through the intersection, and there's usually a stoplight at the u turn to make it easier.

OK - they don't go straight across traffic, they just have to change from the far left to the far right lane immediately after completing the U-turn. Which is much better, because now they aren't looking for traffic in front of them, but traffic behind/beside them. And we all know motorcycles don't get lost in the blind spot.

Just kidding with you - looks like it would work - I just don't see a big improvement over turning left.
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:16 PM   #12
390beretta OP
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I have to tell you all: Not only is the "left turn lane" being hugely abused in Phx, but the number of cagers doing U turns has increased a helluva lot....although I must admit, they are usually more cautious that the damned left turn lane users.
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:25 PM   #13
ttpete
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 390beretta View Post
I have to tell you all: Not only is the "left turn lane" being hugely abused in Phx, but the number of cagers doing U turns has increased a helluva lot....although I must admit, they are usually more cautious that the damned left turn lane users.
It's there to facilitate making left turns without holding traffic up. The proper procedure is to signal, pull into the center lane, and wait until oncoming traffic clears, then complete the turn.

I've never seen anyone around here execute a U turn using the center lane.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:38 AM   #14
jmq3rd
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What's the problem with a u-turn from the center lane? It's legal here, and if you wait for an opportunity (just like you would to make a regular left), it shouldn't be any worse than a left turn...
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:24 AM   #15
DaLunk
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It's my understanding that in PA the center lane is for turns only, not for merging into traffic when you pull out. Of course it's used both ways all the time. How do I deal with it? I let them have their way. The clueless will remain clueless no matter how many horns they hear or fingers they see. I have never seen an LEO enforce this law.
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