Emily from Denver writes, “What's driving you crazy? If you are in the westbound lanes of Evans Ave. and S. Colorado Blvd., the far-right lane is "Right Turn Only". There is only one small sign a few hundred feet from the corner of the intersection but people either do not see this sign or ignore it. They wait in the lane at the red light, blocking people that need to turn right, then when the light turns green they drive straight, continuing on Evans, just to turn into the shopping center with Natural Grocers and Total Wine causing confusion and possible accidents as people expect that lane to be free of traffic once they cross Colorado Blvd. Is it possible to get a "right turn only" sign on the Colorado Blvd. street light?”
I can understand your frustration, Emily. When drivers make this move it make you feel like they are cutting in line for their own benefit and it can be a dangerous move as well. Not to mention if they stop in the right turn only lane and don’t turn, they are holding up traffic that could make that turn legally on red and keep traffic flowing.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the city is going to add any more signage right now. When I talked to Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure it seems that they are content with the way the design of the road markings and signage are laid out. They did though say they would look into that movement and if they noticed a significant issue, they could make a change if needed.
The only real way to stop drivers from stopping in or cutting through that turn only lane across Colorado is to have more Denver police enforcement. That too isn’t likely to happen at this time.
When I asked Denver police if they have seen this move by drivers or have enforced this problem, officer Kurt Barnes told me, “The Denver Police Department does enforcement on this violation along with all of the DRMC (Denver Revised Municipal Code) violations and asks that the motoring public to respect and follow all traffic laws, for the safety of the motoring public and other roadway users.”
Making that move through that turn only lane only to cross over Colorado Blvd and keep going is a violation of Denver Revised Municipal Code: Sec. 54-234 part 3. It says, “Whenever any roadway has been divided into two (2) or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, the following rules in addition to all others consistent herewith shall apply: (3) Official traffic-control devices may be installed prohibiting the changing of lanes on sections of roadway and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of every such device.”
In this case, the road markings constitute a “traffic-control device” and they must be followed. So, driving through the turn only area to continue across Colorado Boulevard to then either keep going westbound on Evans Ave or pull into the shopping center is a violation of the law. Denver police tell me if they pulled over a driver for that move and wrote a citation, it would carry a 3-point violation with a fine of $135.
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