Question: Question: I am an instructor for a driver safety course. At a recent class, while discussing sharing the road, we talked about motorcycles. The subject was motorcycles utilizing the space between two or more lanes between stopped or moving traffic. I have always taught that this was a dangerous and illegal practice. The student bought up this was legal in California. At the end of class I went to the California Drivers Guide on the Internet and found this: "Motorcycles may travel faster than traffic during congested road conditions and can legally travel in the unused space between two lines of moving or stationary vehicles; this is commonly called 'lane splitting.'"
Is this a legal practice in Washington?
Answer: No. This is, as you have taught, a very dangerous and illegal practice in Washington.
Q: My question is about the traffic device installed at the intersection of West North Street and West Street, in the Columbia neighborhood. It is a small circular barrier installed in the center of the intersection, with plantings. Is this properly classified as a "traffic calming device" or is it a roundabout? There are no markings or signs to indicate how to drive around the device. Do the rules that apply to traffic circles apply to this situation? Must traffic making a left turn go around the device to the right, if there is no other traffic?
A: This is properly classified as a "traffic calming device." Yes, it is designed for traffic to flow around it to the right. Just because there is no other traffic doesn't mean you are supposed to forget the rules.
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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.