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You can turn left into church lot

On Merriman Road, immediately north of the intersection with Table Rock Road, there is a center concrete barrier. On this barrier is a "No Left Turn" sign. Just north of the barrier is what appears to be a two-way, left-turn lane. Is it legal to make a left turn into the church parking lot at this location?

— L. Dale Pickering

This is the recently reconfigured intersection that used to be confusing for a lot of drivers because of the stop sign that stood between two lanes on Table Rock Road. With the new configuration and stop lights, that problem went away.

In the course of doing the work on the intersection, a concrete barrier was laid down, running a short distance as soon as you turn from Table Rock onto Merriman. The purpose of the barrier is to prevent drivers from turning left onto De Barr Avenue.

Because De Barr intersects Merriman so closely to Table Rock Road, a driver pulling off Table Rock onto Merriman and then wanting to immediately turn left onto De Barr would potentially block cross traffic on Table Rock.

As you travel farther north on Merriman, the concrete barrier ends and does turn into a left-turn lane. This happens before you reach the entrance to the Medford Friend's Church parking lot, granted not by much, but it does allow for northbound traffic to move into the center turn lane and then turn left into the church parking lot. The "No Left Turn" sign and concrete center strip are there only to prohibit a left turn onto De Barr Avenue.

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.