It’s not coloring. Still, it’d be handy to have some lines so you know where to stay.
Street Smarts reader Roger Lee, of Edmonds, called with this one.
The intersection of North 205th Street and Aurora Avenue N (Highway 99) is a busy one, with Costco, Home Depot and other retail nearby. Traffic coming eastbound down 205th and turning northbound on Aurora often turn wide, into the far-right lane, instead of turning into the lane nearest them. That can inhibit westbound traffic on 205th from entering the same northbound lane from a dedicated right-turn lane.
“If everybody stayed in their own lane, the traffic would move twice as well,” Lee said. “All it would take is a big white strip from 205th arced left onto northbound Aurora to help people stay in their own lane.”
Sounded like a good idea. But no paint’s coming…
“WSDOT typically only adds a left turn guide stripe when there are two lanes turning, so vehicles stay in their own lane and avoid side-swipe collisions,” said Tom Pearce, a spokesman for the Washington State Department of Transportation. “Adding striping at this location would do little to change driver habits.”
I wonder about that. Still, design standards are design standards — and so is the law.
So we’ll stick to some public reminders on this one.
State law requires drivers turning left to stick to the closer lane when entering a multi-lane road “whenever practicable” (RCW 46.41.290). Same goes for drivers turning right, where “the turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.”
“Making sure drivers do this is a law enforcement issue,” Pearce added.