Q&A - Right of Way at Hudson & 70th

Q&A ImageQ: I have a question about right-of-way at Hudson street and 70th avenue in Vancouver. If traveling northbound on Hudson and you have the green light wanting to turn West onto 70th avenue and someone traveling southbound on Hudson street turns West onto 70th avenue, who has the right-of-way? Traveling southbound on Hudson, there is a stop sign for entering 70th avenue and Hudson street is offset. I hope my question is clear enough.


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Answer

This situation is really two separate "T" intersections that are very close together.

Let's first look at what the green light means to the driver northbound on Hudson approaching 70th:

Green light

127 (1) When a green light alone is exhibited at an intersection by a traffic control signal,

(a) the driver of a vehicle facing the green light

(i) may cause the vehicle to proceed straight through the intersection, or to turn left or right, subject to a sign or signal prohibiting a left or right turn, or both, or designating the turning movement permitted,

(ii) must yield the right of way to pedestrians lawfully in the intersection or in an adjacent crosswalk at the time the green light is exhibited, and

(iii) must yield the right of way to vehicles lawfully in the intersection at the time the green light became exhibited, and

That driver is allowed to enter the intersection and turn left, subject to the requirement to yield to road users already lawfully in the intersection.

The driver southbound on Hudson approaching 70th faces a stop sign. Traffic approaching from the left is controlled by a traffic signal.

Things get complicated here so let's first look at a definition:

"through highway" means a highway or part of a highway at the entrances to which stop signs are erected under this Act;

Our driver at the stop sign is about to enter a through highway.

Entering through highway

175 (1) If a vehicle that is about to enter a through highway has stopped in compliance with section 186,

(a) the driver of the vehicle must yield the right of way to traffic that has entered the intersection on the through highway or is approaching so closely on it that it constitutes an immediate hazard, and

(b) having yielded, the driver may proceed with caution.

(2) If a vehicle is entering a through highway in compliance with subsection (1), traffic approaching the intersection on the highway must yield the right of way to the entering vehicle while it is proceeding into or across the highway.

As you might guess, section 186 deals with stopping at stop signs.

Traffic very near to or entering 70th from northbound on Hudson constitutes an immediate hazard if the driver southbound on Hudson turns right onto 70th and tries to go westbound, so they must yield until it is safe to proceed.

There's not a lot of room to accomplish this so it's probably safer to stay at the stop sign until there is no doubt that you could turn right and carry on through westbound. The hedge on the far side can hide a lot of drivers trying to make the end of the green northbound.

My advice is NEVER rely on another driver to heed 175(2). While the law requires them to yield it will be the very rare driver that does.

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