Q In your extensive bike dialogue the other day, you missed an important factor: reminding motorists about bike lane markings. Many don't seem to know that they may NOT enter the bike lane over a solid line, but a broken line indicates that it's OK.

Right?

Beth Erickson

A Wrong, and I bet this answer will surprise a lot of folks. The state vehicle code says motorists may drive into a bike lane in the last 200 feet approaching the intersection to make a turn. It doesn't matter if the bike lane line is dashed or solid. What matters is whether they are within 200 feet of an intersection. Motorists may also cross a bike lane to turn into a driveway.

The standards that cities follow provide flexibility in how long bike lanes may be dashed approaching an intersection -- up to 200 feet. So you'll see variations in the length of dashed bike lane striping. But even if the dashing is less than 200 feet -- say 100 feet -- motorist can still merge into the bike lane up to 200 feet from the intersection or driveway. That is, so long as there isn't another traffic control device prohibiting the movement.

Q Gary, your advice is needed. I was driving to an appointment at a private business in Soquel. I got in the left lane and turned left into the business's driveway as instructed by the person I was meeting. The man behind me was disgusted and as I turned left, screamed out of his car, "No left on a double yellow line!"


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The only way you could turn into that business was to cross over the yellow line. I could have gone a mile or two away in heavy traffic and turned around somehow and come back and turned right into the driveway. The owner of the business has asked the CHP about this and her understanding it is OK to turn left as I did.

What's the real scoop on this one? Was I right or the guy who screamed at me?

Jane Parks-McKay

Santa Cruz

A You were right and the screamer was wrong -- for screaming at you and for his lack of knowledge about rules of the road. You can turn left over double yellow lines to enter a side street or driveway.

Q My daughter and I travel Foxworthy Avenue every morning on our way to her school. There is one lane for traffic but at intersections there is room for cars to pass a left-turning vehicle on the right. Cars stream around those waiting to make a left turn rather than waiting for them to go.

This seems very dangerous and actually seems to prevent cars from making left turns until the light changes.

When two cars, both making left turns, are facing each other, it seems like they should be able to go but they can't because cars are going around in both directions. Is this legal?

Charles Carlisle

San Jose

A Legal it can be. Sgt.-Mike-the-Traffic-Cop says: "Per Vehicle Code 21754(a): the driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass to the right of another vehicle when the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn." But if oncoming traffic is turning into your path, I certainly wouldn't recommend it.

Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow, follow him at Twitter.com/mrroadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5335.