Q&A - To Turn Left or Not to Turn Left
On the East side of this intersection there is a parking lot with apartments, a hotel, shopping etc. On the West side there is a 7-11 gas station, grocery store, bank etc. The West side has a meridian for entering/exiting. The only signage is for merging & do not enters. There is no signage that states you cannot turn left to go Northbound on the Highway. And technically there is no signage stating that while travelling Northbound on the Highway, you cannot make a left turn to go West to the parking lot.
There is a debate as to whether or not left turns are legal here because : A) this is a double solid yellow line B) it's a Highway C) the merge lane to go Southbound on the Highway
I looked for clarification online and I was able to find some information :
"There is only one exemption to the requirement to keep right and that is when a driver is entering or leaving a highway. The onus is on the driver making the turn to exercise "a very high degree of care" and to keep a "sharp lookout" when crossing a double solid line."
"The ICBC driving guide, "RoadSense for Drivers", has summarized these provisions as follows: "Most drivers expect other traffic to turn at an intersection. Sometimes you may wish to turn left in the middle of a block, such as a driveway. While it is safer to plan your route so that you can make a right turn, you may turn left-including turning left over a solid double yellow line-provided you do this carefully and safely and don't impede other traffic, and there are no signs prohibiting such turns."
"Can a motorist cross a double solid yellow line to turn left onto another Highway or Street? Yes, crossing the solid double yellow lines to turn left at an intersection is legal"
Everything that I have read makes me feel stronger in my belief that is it legal to turn left going either a West or North as you are exiting or entering the Highway - as long as you're not impeding traffic, you are using a high degree of care and it is of course safe to do so.
However, there is still arguments as it's "not a driveway" (as stated as an example in the driving guides) and that it is merge lanes, not turn lanes.
In my opinion, if you are trying to turn left going Northbound, you can stay left of the merge lane, allowing traffic behind you to still go right, and you can wait for a safe time to cross the Highway. If you are travelling Northbound on the Highway and wanting to turn left to go in the West entrance of the parking lot, you could as well as long as you are safe and you're not impeding traffic behind you.