Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


The A&E Report: The Left Turn Traffic Blockade

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

It’s a sad fact of life as an LA driver that traffic cops can’t be everywhere. That’s because the arrogant and entitled drivers are everywhere, and they’re getting away with murder. Wouldn’t it be great if they could get caught just a little more often? If common decency won’t stop them from making our lives hell, maybe a few Saturday afternoons in traffic school would. Unfortunately, there’s little to stop them from pulling moves like the Left Turn Traffic Blockade.

It starts off with a common driving dilemma. You need to make a left turn from a side street onto a major thoroughfare, and you find yourself on a street with no traffic light. What do you do?

a. Get off this street and make your turn from a street with a traffic light instead.

Support for LAist comes from

b. Go to the intersection, make a right turn instead, then perform a U-turn at the next convenient, legal location.

c. Reorient yourself by making three right turns instead of one left

d. Wait a looooooooooooooong time for an opening before making your turn.

If you answered any of the above, you are a considerate driver. But A&E drivers have their own solution to this dilemma. Because the inconvenience of others is of no consequence to the arrogant and entitled, they simply wait for an opening in the near side of the street, then pull halfway into the intersection… and stop. Right in the middle of the street. And there they sit, blocking oncoming traffic until they find a suitable opening to complete their turn.

Make no mistake about it: this is illegal. And not only that, it’s rude. It doesn’t matter if it takes you five seconds or five minutes to complete your turn, nor does it matter if you obstruct one car or one hundred in the process. There are at least four ways to make your turn that cause no inconvenience to other drivers at all (see a, b, c and d above). If the time you save is more important to you than the time (not to mention frustration) you cost others, you suffer from arrogance and entitlement, and the next time we see you try to pull the Left Turn Traffic Blockade, we’re not going to let you in.