Two-Way Left Turn Lanes

Many two-way streets have a center lane marked as a two-way left turn lane (TWLTL). This lane is bordered on either side by two yellow lines - the inner line is broken or dashed, the outer line is solid. Pavement marking arrows may or may not be present. This lane is for the exclusive use of left turning vehicles and may be used by drivers making a left turn in either direction. It shall not be used for passing or travel by a driver except to make a left turn.

A TWLTL is provided to remove left-turning vehicles from the through lanes and store those vehicles in the median area until an acceptable gap in opposing traffic is available.

When TWLTL is added to a two lane or four lane street, accidents may be reduced. This reduction is possible as stopped or slow left-turning vehicles are removed from the through lanes. Drivers in the TWLTL may feel more comfortable waiting for an adequate gap in traffic, as they are protected from through vehicles.

Delay to through vehicles will also be reduced because left-turning vehicles will not block the through lanes.

TO TURN LEFT FROM THE STREET: Look for opposing vehicles already in the TWLTL, signal a left turn, then drive completely inside the TWLTL lane. Don't stop at an angle with the rear of your vehicle blocking through traffic. Turn only when it is safe. Look for vehicles approaching you in the same lane to make their left turns.


TO TURN LEFT INTO THE STREET: Wait for an opening in traffic on the near side of the street. Look for vehicles entering the center lane to turn left. When safe, turn left driving completely into the center lane. Again, do not stop with part of your vehicle blocking through traffic. When safe, move to the right into the regular traffic lane and proceed on your way.

Click on this link for the PDF file.