Left turn OK from Mission Street

Dear Street Smarts, Q: I live on Grover Lane, a small one-way street with the only access off Mission Street via Towne Terrace. Prior to the repaving of Mission Street, the double yellow line on Mission was broken to allow access to Towne Terrace. Subsequent to the repaving, the double yellow line is unbroken. We are concerned that turning from Mission over the double yellow to access Towne could result in a ticket. Could you please find out for us why all the other streets accessed from Mission have a broken line but Towne does not. Also, what are the ramifications for turning across the double line. Thanks, Karen Pappas, Santa Cruz

A: Broken line or no broken line, you still have access from Mission.

"In spite of no opening in the line, Vehicle Code Section 21460(d) allows for a left turn to be made across a single set of double yellow lines at an intersection or into a driveway," said Steve Clark, deputy chief of the Santa Cruz Police Department. "If there are two sets of double yellow lines more than two feet wide, this would constitute a 'painted island,' which is not legal to cross under section 21651 of the Vehicle Code."

Simply put, a single set of double yellow lines means it is OK to make a left turn; two sets of double yellow indicates a left turn is not allowed, Clark said.

"I actually went out to the Mission and Towne Terrace intersection to get eyes on it before responding," he said. "This intersection has only one set of double yellow lines and would be perfectly legal to turn left across."

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