Ninja wrote:Flat iron corners at North Hamilton, East Johnson, and Butler – if I’m driving north on Hamilton (down the hill, towards Pinkus McBride and the lake) and I want to turn right onto East Johnson I need to be in the right lane, correct? The left lane isn’t designated for right turns in any way and the flat iron corners don’t change anything, do they? I’ve always considered a right turn from the left lane there to be an illegal turn but I see numerous people do it pretty much every single time I’m at that intersection. I’ve even seen quite a few squad cars pull the exact same maneuver (sometimes without even using a turn signal). And that’s fine because I turn from right lane to right lane, like I was instructed all those years ago. But occasionally some idiot on a bike will be riding against traffic in that right lane, or someone will step out into the street, mid-block, without looking as Madisonians seem prone to do, and then it’s a serious problem because the car that should be behind me is actually right beside me and I have no where else to go. Am I completely off base here?
After mulling this over a bit, look at the intersection as two lanes of a two-way street (outbound North Hamilton) turning onto a two lane one-way street (East Johnson). It is fine to turn right onto Johnson as long as you stay in the proper lane from Hamilton; the rightmost lane keeps to the rightmost lane, the adjacent lane keeps to the corresponding lane.
Now if you wanted to make a right turn onto North Butler Street, you can only turn from the rightmost lane on Hamilton and only on green as right turns on red from Hamilton are prohibited by sign. So the rightmost lane allows turns onto Butler and Johnson while the lane to the left allows a turn onto Johnson in the proper lane, a kinda left turn onto Butler outbound, or to proceed straight outbound on Hamilton. You can turn right on red from Butler onto Johnson into the proper lane and direction as it is not prohibited by sign.
Inbound drivers on Hamilton who wish to turn onto Johnson would have to yield right of way to drivers making the right turn into the leftmost lane on Johnson before making the left turn just as they would for drivers going straight through the intersection.
I know there is no signage or designation specifically allowing the right turn from the left lane on Hamilton but there is also no signage or designation stating it is prohibited. Whenever I run into a case where something isn't specifically prohibited and what I want to do is reasonable and safe, I do it. I turn right onto Johnson from that lane in a squad and in my own car but I put on my signal so everybody know what's up.
As for people and bikes (and other cars for that matter) being where they are not supposed to be, they are violating traffic laws and that's a part of having to drive in a city. Watch what you're doing and what everybody else is, too.
The other day I was on Doty in the rightmost lane to go onto Webster at the red signal. This knob pulls alongside in the lane to turn right onto King in front of the Great Dane and just sits there. I just knew he was going turn onto Webster by cutting into my lane from the clueless look on his face and when the light turned green he did it. I braked to prevent his sideswiping me or having him plow into the parked cars on Webster. Unfortunately, I was going home so I couldn't make the stop. The "WTF?!?!" look he gave me as if it were my fault was special too. Serenity now, insanity later.
It's nice to be in the right if there's a crash, but it's better to not be in one at all.