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Driving You Crazy: Viewer: I'm sick of drivers using the "Right Turn Only" lane as a through lane!

Northbound Parker Rd during the evening rush hour
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Posted at 10:00 AM, Sep 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-02 15:22:42-04

David from Aurora writes, “What’s driving you crazy? Northbound Parker Road during the evening rush hour is a mess from Arapahoe to Chambers.  My frustration begins with drivers using the "Right Turn Only" lane as a through lane at Parker and South Lewiston Way.  Then they continue on, driving in the merge lane from Lewiston, going through another "Right Turn Only" lane at East Lake Ave. Then, to top it all off, drivers are passing stopped traffic at a high rate of speed on the shoulder to make a right turn on Orchard, where I have been missed by less than an inch on a few occasions. This is frustrating for the folks who actually drive properly and in a legit lane."

Sometimes the most frustrating part of driving David is watching other drivers get away with illegal or dangerous driving behavior that you or I would probably get a ticket for.

Julie Brooks, with the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, talked to some deputies for me. She says their deputies do regular spot checks and pull over drivers who go through the turn only lanes in this area.

"Information from one deputy shows that she wrote five tickets on just one day at Lake Avenue and Parker Road," Brooks said.

Brooks said deputies have a tough time catching offenders at the other intersection because, “there is just no good place to sit and watch Lewiston."

That same deputy has written 111 failed to turn tickets on Parker Road so far this year, so they admit that driving through the turn lane is an issue.

Brooks told me the only other similar location in Arapahoe County, where they see this same problem, is westbound Dry Creek, east of University. If you are caught, the violations include:

  • 42-4-901 (2) Failed to turn as required by a traffic control device with 3 points on your license and a $75 fine.
  • 42-4-603 Failed to observe/disregarded a traffic control device with 4 points on your license and a $100 fine.

That part of Parker Road falls under CDOT jurisdiction.

CDOT Region 1 Communications Manager Emily Wilfong told me they are aware of this problem. but there isn’t much they can do.

"Unfortunately, we are very limited on the improvements we can make due to pavement constraints," Wilfong said. "Our engineers say that the best and quickest option is to step up enforcement to help drive behavior change."

The good news is that CDOT hasn’t given up trying to make changes there. Wilfong told me their traffic engineers are in the process of looking to see if anything can be done, knowing they don’t have much room to work with. They don't have timeline or details on that just yet, though.

The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office does want to help. They say if you have another issue here, or anywhere in the county, call their Traffic Complaint Hotline at 720-874-3825.

MORE: Check out other issues driving you crazy

Denver7 traffic reporter Jayson Luber says he has been covering Denver-metro traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a chariot. (We believe the actual number is about 20 years.) He's obsessed with letting viewers know what's happening on their drive and the best way to avoid the problems that spring up. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter