Two of my pet peeves here...
using the center left turn lane as a merging lane or the vehicle that pulls into the lane to make a left turn and then drives for blocks in that lane (all the time hoping no one coming the other direction decides to use it and hits them head on)...
Another "left turn lane" abuse I see quite often is in front of Roselawn Cemetery... cars going both directions regularly pull out to pass cars either turning into Roselawn or turning onto Swartz road... I've seen several "close calls" there... and many years ago there was a horrific accident there with multiple fatalities
This regular weekly article on MLive is written by a state police traffic expert... He gets into some pretty good detail on why this particular issue is so confusing.
This week's traffic talk deals with a topic I get A LOT of questions about.
When I say a lot, I mean that at last count I had no less than 20 emails and comments from readers asking me to clarify the rules for using the center left turn lane for merging with traffic.
Like this one, from reader Mark:
Here's one for your column: Using the center left turn lane for merging with traffic. Scenario: a vehicle wishes to enter traffic which requires a left turn. The road has a a center left turn only lane. Action: The car first pulls into the center left turn lane, then either stays stationary and merges when clear or gradually increases speed to merge. I always though the center left turn only rule prohibited this action.
And this one, from reader Navin:
Is it okay for motorists wishing to enter a roadway by taking a left turn out of a driveway to turn into the left-turn lane and cruise/get up to speed and wait for an opening before merging right? I think not. What if I wanted to turn left from the main road into a parking lot but there was another car driving down the center left turn-lane wanting to merge right, into my lane? It is my understanding that one must wait until traffic from both directions clear completely before making a left turn out of a parking lot/driveway so they can go directly into the driving lane and not the center turn lane.
My co-worker, Jeff Haywood, first asked me about this six months ago AND he even sent me a Google Earth road sceenshot to illustrate his point.
More at: http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/07/traffic_talk_can_drivers_use_t.html