Question: When turning left onto Sunset Drive via Barkley Boulevard's end, traffic in the far-right left-turning lane has to follow the white lines to the far right and eventual northbound Interstate 5 on-ramp. But what are the folks who want to go to the freeway southbound to do? Either way, there is danger lurking in folks changing lanes from the inside and the far outside lane to the middle and eventual southbound I-5 on-ramp lane. Where shall those who want the southbound I-5 freeway try to start out when turning left?
Answer: Yes, it is an interesting intersection. For those people that want to go to the I-5 southbound entrance ramp, they need to be in the far-left lane on Barkley. As they turn left onto Sunset Drive, they actually have the option to follow the white lane-divider line that will take them into the center lane on Sunset, or to turn tighter and end up in the left lane on Sunset that will take them across the overpass and present them with the options of going straight ahead or moving into the left-turn lane for James Street. Those people that want to go to I-5 northbound need to be in Barkley's center lane, which will then put them into the curb lane on Sunset (as you follow the white-lane divider line) that becomes the northbound I-5 entrance ramp.
Q: When making a right-hand turn at an intersection when you have a red light, it is usually OK (unless posted) to make if it is safe. Do the same rules apply when making a left-hand turn on a one-way street onto another one-way street if you have a red light?
A: The short answer is yes, and the same rules apply for both. This is the RCW section that deals with your question: 46.61.055, traffic control signal legend, subsection 3a. steady red indication. The actual section goes into much more detail, but you can look it up if you like.
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DAVID WRIGHT is a retired officer from the Bellingham Police Department who is now on the Whatcom County Traffic Safety Task Force.