Q&A - Hung Up in the Right Turn Lane

Q&A ImageOften, if heading north when I am on Bowen Road I will make a left turn at the Co-op bar (just above the Toyota and other car dealerships), I then turn right onto Shenton Road and run parallel to the old Island Highway until I pass Steve Marshall Ford where I use the right hand turn lane to join the traffic on Jingle Pot road and move over a lane to be able to turn left at the traffic lights onto the Old Island Hwy, heading north.

Last week I did the same thing, I was in the marked right lane on Shenton Rd but was unable to pull out/move over to the left hand lane of Jingle Pot Rd as traffic was coming down Jingle Pot. Suddenly, I had two cars honking at me and one of the cars pulled up on my inside who was turning right and told me that I was in the wrong lane as this lane was for traffic heading south. He wasn’t rude at all but just told me of, what he felt was incorrect and added that I should have been in the lane going straight ahead to cross Jingle Pot Rd or, to turn left onto Jingle Pot. He insisted that I should have used this lane and then turned right!

I hope that you can understand this explanation as I use this route quite often and without a problem and I feel sure (well almost now?) that I was in the right and would really like to know if in fact I was in the wrong??

If I understand correctly, you merged into the right-hand lane of Jingle Pot, which is itself a right-turn only lane, and then stopped and signalled left, hoping to merge into the left lane so you could proceed straight and eventually make a left turn.  

Do you typically have to wait long to merge into the left lane of Jingle Pot?  Does this interrupt the flow of traffic that wants to turn right?

In reply to by DamnIHateThat

I looked at the Google map and it does show a space of only 2 vehicles before the solid line and space for only 2 vehicles before the stop line befor the train tracks.


When traveling northbound on Shenton as you reach Jingle Pot, you are presented with two choices, use the right lane which requires that you turn right, or the left lane that requires you to either proceed straight through or turn left.

The arrows painted on the pavement are traffic control devices whose instructions must be obeyed.

Once you have moved through the intersection you have a very short distance before the option of changing lanes to the left is prohibited by the change from a single broken white line to a single solid white line. At that point you must stay in the lane and turn southbound on Highway 19A.

I take it from your explanation that because you could not see a gap to move into, you remained at or near the yield sign and prevented traffic behind you from continuing with their intent to turn and go southbound. The gentleman that you describe was wrong to pull past you and incorrect in his understanding of how drivers are to proceed there.

Our provincial driver's guide has this to say:

Intersections controlled by yield signs

A yield sign means that you must let the traffic on the through road have the right‑of‑way. You may enter the intersection without stopping if there are no pedestrians, cyclists or vehicles on the through road. But you must slow down (and stop if necessary) and wait for a safe gap if there is traffic on the through road.

Yielding before interfering with cross traffic is the correct action to take and you are prevented from proceeding if traffic is approaching closely in either of the lanes to your left.

If you have to stop in order to change lanes to prepare for the left turn, it likely means that you have failed to yield properly. Your decision to wait was the correct one.

One suggestion to consider is remaining on Labieux Road and turning right onto Jingle Pot instead of Shenton. While the increase in distance is slight, moving into the correct lane for a turn northbound onto Highway 19A would be much easier to do.

In reply to by DriveSmartBC

Yielding before interfering with cross traffic is the correct action to take and you are prevented from proceeding if traffic is approaching closely in either of the lanes to your left.

Agreed. And it's worth noting how the traffic engineers deal with this situation, vis a vis the crosswalk; they position it so that the pedestrians/cyclists aren't part of the same conflicted situation, just like the approach to a roundabout.

So there's this little 'safe zone' where you can pause just after the crosswalk, in obeyance of the Yield sign. Otherwise in order to avoid blocking the crosswalk (if you're a second vehicle making this maneuver) you would wait before driving over it.

If you have to stop in order to change lanes to prepare for the left turn, it likely means that you have failed to yield properly.

Yes, and that's a very short stretch of roadway where the lane separation lines are broken, the only legal place for drivers on the cross street can change to that right hand lane - or for you to escape it. And all the time, we have Section 158 to keep in mind:

Driving on laned roadway

151 A driver who is driving a vehicle on a laned roadway

(a) must not drive it from one lane to another when a broken line only exists between the lanes, unless the driver has ascertained that movement can be made with safety and will in no way affect the travel of another vehicle,

So arguably, the combination of the requirement to yield - to everybody and everything - and to do so without affecting the travel of another vehicle, suggests that this is a really crummy location to use if there's any amount of traffic using those roadways.

I would find a better route, myself.

In reply to by DriveSmartBC

There is only space for 2 vehicles at the turn before the solid line, and another 2 vehicles before the stop line at the train tracks

Just by studying a map I can see various choices, and turning at Jingle Pot would be one of the last ones, due to the short lane change opportunity and amount of traffic that may come through.

The first option I noticed is that you could turn off Bowen onto the Island Hwy.

The second, turn right at Jingle Pot onto the Island Hwy., left on 107th, Left on Victoria, Left on 106th, right onto the Island Hwy.

Depending on where you are coming from, take the scenic Nanaimo Parkway.

If turning at Bowen is inconvenient due to traffic, waiting times, then go straight through, up and around and back down to The Island Hwy on Norwell.

This is all assuming that the Google maps are up to date and there are no construction delays happening.