Lane doesn't merge

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, April 23, 2004

M.C. Birkner's April 21 letter regarding driving was mostly spot on regarding the seemingly increasing behavior of inattentive or confusing driving, mostly the result of simply not knowing the rules of the road.

However, one statement was simply not correct: The turn lane onto the Douglas Bridge from Egan Drive inbound is not a merge. That turn lane is a yield, as indicated by the sign at the entrance. Drivers turning onto the bridge are indeed supposed to wait for a break in traffic before proceeding. The drivers that treat that lane as a merge and attempt to force their way into traffic do not have the right-of-way and in many instances create a dangerous situation for drivers crossing the intersection who do have the right-of-way. It's exactly these kind of oversights that we as drivers need to be careful to avoid.

Otherwise, Mr. Birkner's points are right on. Keep an eye out for traffic signs, be attentive and aware of other drivers, and every now and then revisit the driver's manual to brush up on the rules of the road. Doing this will remind you that on Egan Drive, you need to keep right except to pass, those "Slower Traffic Keep Right" signs mean that if you're going slower than other vehicles, keep right; don't speed up to prevent someone from passing you, this is illegal; start slowing for a turn only after you enter the turn lane, engineers designed the turn lanes to give you more than enough room to come to a stop; don't yield at a merge and don't merge at a yield, the signs are there for everybody to see and abide by; vehicles on a thoroughfare have right-of-way, trying to be "nice" and waving on a vehicle at a stop sign trying to make a left onto the thoroughfare is not the right thing to do and only creates confusion. Being aware of such rules will help create a less confusing, more efficient, and safer driving environment for everyone.

Jason Soza

Juneau



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