Thursday, May 20

Sneaky Local Keller Motorists

FM1709 is Where the Sky Meets the Ground. West is to the Left
The White Car is Headed Directly Towards the Bank of America Entrance Door

I’ve done a couple of posts about parking lots in the past. Rantwick’s mom would not approve, though I suspect she’d overlook the “secret” parking lot. Today’s post is NOT about a parking lot I ride through. It’s about a parking lot motorists drive through as a shortcut to avoid the traffic light at the intersection of Anita and FM1709 in Keller. Yes, this is the very same intersection as I wrote about in my post here, where I was feeling mildly guilty for signaling lapses while waiting to make a left turn at the very same light.

You see, I’ve noticed, on several recent mornings, many local westbound motorists do NOT wait for this traffic light. Instead, they cut through the Bank of America parking lot and then make a left from the lot to westbound FM1709 when the arterial traffic clears. After this caught my attention, I noticed that a tan pickup gained a full block by this maneuver compared to silly me waiting at the traffic light. Hey, I could do that, too! What’s more, doing it would give me better timing relative to overtaking traffic waves for my westbound leg along FM1709, and it isn’t like there’s a lot of traffic in a bank parking lot at 6:50AM. Yeah, it’s a safety thing. If motorists cruise through parking lots to avoid waiting for traffic lights, it MUST be OK, right? Will the purity police blacklist me for non-vehicular operation? Is this legal? How come these notions never entered my head until I noticed those sneaky local motorists? Parking lots can be the devil’s handiwork…

Bank of America Parking Lot is Immediately to the Left of the Photo Note the Tree in Both Shots


Oldfool said...

Parking lot traffic in this podunk backwater has become a problem. SWMBO works at a local grocery (our favorite) and it is at a very busy intersection. When we moved here it was a very quiet intersection but we had Katrina and many of those people from New Orleans moved here so we have a lot of traffic. Unfortunately it's a very hip aggressive group that knows how to outwit the dull normal people who follow the rules. The traffic across the parking lot is at road speed and some are pulling over width trailers. The employees are endangered every time they go out to bring in the carts and the customers are on their own.

Anonymous said...

I have a situation where the loop detector in the left turn lane won't detect me, even when I lay the bike down on it. To avoid running a red light, I turn left into the strip mall then turn left onto the main road.

Steve A said...

As a matter of principle, if I encounter a non functioning loop detector or signal camera, I report it to the local traffic department and keep all their numbers in my cell phone along with TXDOT's.

Anonymous said...

I only do this in one parking lot where it is a safety matter due to visiblity around a very sharp turn. For a motorist though I think it is inexcusable.

Brrr said...

From a "sneakiness" standpoint, I have no issue with using a parking lot to find easier/safer ways to get across particularly hectic intersections.

My only problem is that it's seldom very safe. Not only do motorists try to cross the lots at road speeds, they criss-cross erratically, and they're not looking where they are going at all. Cars backing out of parking spots are a particular hazzard. Then there are the oblivious pedestrians. You often have to go so slowly that any advantage of the short-cut is lost.

Lyle said...

No, it's not legal.

Sec. 545.423. CROSSING PROPERTY. (a) An operator may not cross a sidewalk or drive through a driveway, parking lot, or business or residential entrance without stopping the vehicle.
(b) An operator may not cross or drive in or on a sidewalk, driveway, parking lot, or business or residential entrance at an intersection to turn right or left from one highway to another highway.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Steve A said...

Interesting. The motorists comply with (a) because they stop before turning on to 1709 until a good gap in traffic appears. They could also claim to comply with (b) because neither FM1709 nor Anita are highways, and Anita is only a collector road. I always imagined the law would be less ambiguous.

KD5NRH said...

Steve: "Highway" includes all or any part of a street, alley, or public place or square that is dedicated to public use.

That's from the Transportation Code. For some reason, "road" just wasn't a good enough word for them.

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