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Driving You Crazy: There needs to be a 'right turn allowed on red' sign at Lincoln Avenue & Park Meadows Drive

Lincoln Ave at Park Meadows Drive
Posted at 5:10 AM, Mar 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-12 09:39:44-04

Megan from Lone Tree writes, “What's driving you crazy? The right hand turn lane getting off southbound I-25 onto Lincoln Ave where there is the merge lane to go north on Park Meadows Drive. It’s a red light and right turn only but it does not say that you can turn right at the red light. I have been honked at and then yelled at, called names, for waiting at the red light. There needs to be signs that say no right on red.”

In Colorado, it is legal to turn right at a red traffic signal unless there is a sign specifically prohibiting that movement.

“(A) Such vehicular traffic, after coming to a stop and yielding the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection, may make a right turn, unless state or local road authorities within their respective jurisdictions have by ordinance or resolution prohibited any such right turn and have erected an official sign at each intersection where such right turn is prohibited,Colorado Revised Statute 42-4-604 states regarding a steady circular red signal.

So if you don’t see a sign, you are allowed to keep going and make that right turn. That is most likely why the drivers behind you are honking at you, suggesting you move along since right on red is legal and widely used by nearly all drivers.

MORE: Read more traffic issues driving people crazy

I went out to the intersection to watch the traffic movement. A few drivers would stop to see if the turn was clear, but most just slowed a bit and kept on moving if they didn’t see anyone coming. There is one time during the light cycle where there is a green arrow allowing for non-stop right turns. Some drivers still slowed down but all kept going. None came to a full stop and waited for the green arrow or green light.

I asked the City of Lone Tree about this turn. The only time the city posts signage regarding right turns on red is where it is prohibited, Public Works Director Justin Schmitz told me. He added, the city does not currently have plans to prohibit right turns on red from Lincoln Avenue on to northbound Park Meadows Drive.

Even though you are allowed to turn right on red, you aren’t required to do so. I wrote about that in a previous Driving You Crazy story. You are completely within your legal right to wait until the light turns green but beware, if you decide to not turn on red, you will experience much more of the abuse you’ve already experienced from drivers who want you to keep going, as they will argue there is no reason not to turn on red unless it is unsafe.

In some highly congested areas, a right turn on red can be unsafe, especially for pedestrians crossing the street. The City of Denver in their Vision Zero action plan is looking at whether it is a good idea and safer for pedestrians to prohibit all right turns on red. In section Sub-action 5.4 it states, “evaluate the effectiveness of prohibiting right turns on red for crash reduction.” A final decision from city leaders has not been made yet.

Also remember, when coming off that ramp from southbound I-25, if you want to go south on Park Meadows Drive towards Sky Ridge Medical Center, you need to go to the light and not use the continuous lane. From the light, you make a right turn and then merge left to get into the left turn lane. You are not permitted to merge from the continuous "right turn only" lane all the way into the left turn lane. That lane is reserved for right turns onto northbound Park Meadows Drive.

There needs to be a 'right turn allowed on red' sign at Lincoln & Park Meadows Dr.

Denver7 Traffic Expert Jayson Luber says he has been covering Denver-metro traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a chariot. (We believe the actual number is over 25 years.) He's obsessed with letting viewers know what's happening on their drive and the best way to avoid the problems that spring up. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast on any podcast app including iTunes, iHeartRadio, Spotify and Podbean.