Question: The southbound entrance for Interstate 5 on Ohio Street says "freeway entrance only" yet many people turn left into the Shell gas station. I also see many close calls when people turn left from the Shell station or alley to go south on I-5. Is it illegal turning left from the Shell station or alley? I never see any traffic control in this area.
Answer: It is legal to make the left turn into the Shell station if you are going to the Shell station or The Woods Coffee shop. It is legal to make the left turn from the Shell station or the Woods onto Ohio street to access the freeway southbound if you have been at those businesses. It is illegal to turn into or out of the Shell parking lot in order to avoid the large concrete barrier that was placed there to keep people from turning onto or off King street. If you haven't seen traffic control there, you are one of the few who hasn't. The infraction for the illegal turn through the Shell station lot is $124.
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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.