Drivers in Hannibal exiting onto McMasters Avenue are frequently challenged when wanting to turn left, especially during peak traffic hours like in the morning and after school. Many times, they will use the center turn lane as an “acceleration” to try to enter moving traffic safely. Not only is improper use of the center turn lane illegal, it’s also unsafe.


Drivers in Hannibal exiting onto McMasters Avenue are frequently challenged when wanting to turn left, especially during peak traffic hours like in the morning and after school. Many times, they will use the center turn lane as an “acceleration” to try to enter moving traffic safely. Not only is improper use of the center turn lane illegal, it’s also unsafe.
“The purpose for a center left turn lane is to allow safe exit off of McMasters Avenue,” said MoDOT Traffic Study Specialist Brian Untiedt. “If both sides of the center lane are a solid yellow line with dashed yellow lines inside the solid, then it is a left turn lane for both directions.”
Traffic from both directions can use these lanes. State traffic laws indicate left turn lanes are not to be used for merging into traffic or passing traffic in the same direction.
“The problem with McMasters Avenue is it has fast moving, heavy traffic, four lanes wide, and anyone making a left turn from a side road onto McMasters has to wait to pull out safely into traffic,” Untiedt said. “An example of proper use of the center turn lane is if you want to turn at the intersection onto Stardust, wait until you get to the break in pavement lines or the end of the solid yellow line, which marks the beginning of the left turn storage lane at the intersection.”
Some vehicles will travel in the center turn lane from McDonald’s to the signal, which hinders vehicles in the travel lanes from being able to safely move into the turn lane at the signal.