Confused Driver Gets Ticketed Making the Infamous Left Turn at Fell And Masonic – Why the SFPD Cited Her

All right, camera right shows a light-colored Chevy properly waiting at the red arrow light to turn from westbound Fell onto southbound Masonic. The confused driver is in the  blue two-door Honda – she wants to make the same turn to get from NoPA to SoPA but she’s in the wrong lane.

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Of course back in the day, the Honda driver would have been driving properly but things changed at this intersection about a half-decade back. Check it. Anywho, she sat there waiting to turn left even though she had a green to proceed straight on Fell Street.

That pissed off the driver of the car behind her, so then its driver is all “hoooooooooonk!” You know, at the Blue Honda Chick.

She doesn’t budge ’cause she knows she wants to turn left, you know, from the wrong lane.    

Oh, here she goes, around the Chevy:

Now all that honking attracted the attention of the Park Station police, who also made an illegal left from the wrong lane in order to follow the blue Honda driver onto southbound Masonic. Here they are near Oak:

The moral of this story is that drivers will never get used to this unique intersection set-up. The reason being is that the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition overruled the traffic engineers who originally had cars on Fell turning left at the beginning of the green light phase for Fell Street. But you see, that had car drivers “going first.”

Oh well.

On It Goes…

And oh, what you’re supposed to do when you mistake driving is to just go with it, go with the flow. You know, respond to stimuli. So like if you’re in the westbound lane and you have a green to go straight then you should go straight for a while EVEN THOUGH THAT”S NOT WHAT YOU WANT TO DO RIGHT NOW. Obliviously, you can’t just make up your own traffic rules…

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6 Responses to “Confused Driver Gets Ticketed Making the Infamous Left Turn at Fell And Masonic – Why the SFPD Cited Her”

  1. Ciaran says:

    There’s only the left-most lane being the one that turns left, there being a sign showing the lane layout and there being a red arrow on the light telling you not to turn left. I guess they thought the left turn lane was parking.

    At least they presumably didn’t hit anyone while making a panicked left turn.

  2. sfcitizen says:

    Nope, no hitting. Yes, she might have assumed it was parking there, as it was five years plus ago. SHe might have felt pressured but she moved slowly…

  3. bd3517 says:

    Meh, there’s road signs showing the turn lane going back a few hundred feet. Turning from a middle lane makes you a dick. Turning from the middle lane against a red arrow because you can’t be bothered to swing around a few blocks makes you a big dick. IMHO.

  4. sfcitizen says:

    Well, yeah. She made a mistake and then she fixed things the wrong way. She’ll end up paying for it, to the tune of hundreds (or thousands) of dollars over the years in increased insurance/penalties

  5. bd3517 says:

    I hear you, but using that logic, we should never give out any tickets. Also, a lot of people with the right of way on the bike/ped have gotten creamed, so I think it’s not just academic. I did read the part that you said they were going slowly, but best to just go around.

  6. Alai says:

    Personally, I think it would be a better world if tickets were (say) 1/3 the cost (or better still indexed to earnings like they are in Finland) BUT they were automatically and reliably given out for every infraction.

    Otherwise you get the situation where you get away – get away – get away – get away – boom, huge fine. It’s not the best.

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