Denver7 | TrafficDriving You Crazy


What's Driving You Crazy?: Which lane to use when turning right from Lincoln to Yosemite

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Screenshot 2021-09-27 063401.jpg
Posted at 5:51 AM, Sep 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-28 09:12:50-04

Susan from Parker writes, “What's driving you crazy? At the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Yosemite St. in Lone Tree, if you are going west on Lincoln and turning right (north) on Yosemite, there is a northbound bike lane that is between the two normal lanes and a lane furthest, right? Am I required to turn into the immediate right lane then cross over the bike lane, or can I turn immediately into one of the lanes that are to the left of the bike lane? I have even asked a driver's ed instructor who didn't know the answer.”

First, I am saddened and disturbed a driver’s ed instructor didn’t know how to handle this situation. In just about every case, when you follow the road markings, they will lead you the right way. In this case, and anytime you are making a right turn where there are multiple lanes, you always turn into the right most lane.

When making that right turn from westbound Lincoln Avenue to northbound Yosemite, the northbound bike lane separates the two mainline northbound lanes from a dedicated right turn merge lane. When you turn, you should turn into and stay in that right most lane until the point where the solid white lines for that bike lane become dotted, about 200 feet down the road — right where the old KFC used to be. At that point, you have nearly 250 feet to make the merge left into the right through lane. The right most lane, the dedicated turn lane you were in, doubles as a turn only lane into the Safeway shopping center. So if you don't merge you will have to turn into the Safeway center.

There is a similar process coming out of the Safeway shopping center to go north on Yosemite. However, the dotted merge area is much sooner and shorter than the one from Lincoln Avenue to the shopping center. That right lane then becomes a right-turn-only lane to go east on Heritage Hills Circle so if you don't merge you must turn right.

The problem with most right-turning drivers is that they believe they should always pull into the through lane even if a merge lane is available. All right turning drivers should use the merge lane to reduce the conflict points with traffic in the through lanes and to keep traffic flowing smoothly.

By they way, make sure you let that driver’s ed teacher know how to handle that turn so they don’t teach the wrong thing.