Left hanging on a left turn

When did drivers forget how to turn left the right way?

I have seen this particular type of Blacktop Blockhead a few times in the past, but I saw three different drivers pull the same move last week.

In each case, I was eastbound on 15th Avenue, having just crossed the highway. Twice it happened at Johnson Street and once at Irwin.

Both of those streets have left-turn lanes for eastbound drivers, and in all three cases the driver ahead of me was going to turn left.

The only problem was that in all three cases, they never actually moved over into the left-turn lane. All of them were, to one extent or another, still in the through lane that I was in. One of the drivers was actually still about halfway into my lane, when they stopped to make their turn.

And that’s the biggest problem. When there is opposing traffic they have to wait for before making their left turn, they are now blocking a lane of eastbound traffic. If there is any traffic in the other eastbound lane, the driver they are initially blocking doesn’t even have the option of moving over a bit to get by.

It’s unsafe, stupid, and, oh yeah, illegal. You are required to be wholly in the left-turn lane when you get to the intersection.

And while it’s never a bad idea to start practicing your winter-driving skills early, things like leaving some extra space between you and the vehicle ahead of you, and starting to slow down earlier than normal when approaching a light, some drivers have apparently decided to start one of their winter-driving habits early.

On the weekend, I saw three different vehicles run red lights. I assume the driver is practicing his: “Well, officer, I was doing 70 in a 50 zone, and there was no way I could safely stop in those winter road conditions” habit.