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Table Rock Road driver has right of way

Can you clarify the situation at the intersection of Biddle and Table Rock roads? I've had several close calls when I am turning left from Biddle onto Table Rock Road (coming westbound from the Medford airport). Drivers coming from the direction of Central Point on Biddle Road who turn right onto Table Rock Road have their own right-turn lane, which is separated from the intersection by a concrete island with a yield sign and markings on the road.

When I am turning left onto Table Rock Road and have the flashing yellow light at the intersection, indicating I am able to cross the intersection when the road is clear, I will turn when oncoming traffic going straight on Biddle is clear and also will turn when I see any oncoming traffic move over into the right-turn lane.

Problems (and close calls) occur when those turning right blow through the yield sign without slowing down because they believe they have a green light from the intersection, and because I am turning left, I must yield to them.

However, because their lane is controlled by a yield sign and is somewhat removed from the intersection by the concrete island, I believe they must yield to me as they would any driver who was driving on Table Rock Road and driving straight through the intersection. I wouldn't turn left and then suddenly stop in the traffic lane to allow them to turn right, would I?

I realize this goes against traditional thinking of left-turn drivers yielding to all oncoming traffic, but this is an odd intersection and an exception to the norm based on the signs and intersection set-up. Thank you for your help and clarification. — M.S., Medford

Well, M.S., there isn't much reason for me to do any further explanation, as you've stated it very eloquently yourself.

Simply answered, yes, you do have the right of way and the eastbound drivers turning southbound onto Table Rock must yield to you.

Two other examples of slightly odd intersections involving yield signs are at North Ross Lane at West McAndrews and Highway 238 (Hanley Road) at West Main Street (the Old Jacksonville Highway).

In these cases a left-turning driver creates a situation where a driver in a right-turn lane needs to yield to the other driver. This is because, as in your example, once you've turned onto the new road, in your case Table Rock Road, you're treated just like drivers coming originally from southbound Table Rock Road.

Thanks for the question and for basically answering it yourself.

Dace Cochran, a patrol sergeant with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, writes a weekly Q&A column on police issues for the Mail Tribune. Have a question for him? Write to Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501, or e-mail cochradc@jacksoncounty.org.