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Motorist Sore Point Over The Gore Point

Alameda police initiated a traffic enforcement project over motorists driving through the “gore point” at the entrance to the Posey Tube. (Action Alameda News)

A week or so before Halloween, Alameda motorists entering the Posey Tube were faced with an electronic sign warning of a possible “gore point” citation, but the $238 fine is no treat.

The “gore point” – traffic marking jargon – is the white solid line triangle painted on the road surface, projecting out from the concrete traffic island.

On local social media forum, residents fumed about motorists “cutting into line” through the gore points to get into the tube, as well as for blocking the right-hand lane, leading up to the gore point, trying to move over to the left.

Sergeant Ryan DeRespini, traffic division supervisor for the Alameda Police Department, responded today to questions on the back story behind the sign, via e-mail:

“1. The motivation:

The original complaints for this issue came to my desk, Chief Rolleri’s desk, and our communications center staff throughout my three years here in traffic. The complaints ramped up heavily through social media and my unit was asked to divert school safety enforcement for a few days to address this issue. Obviously, the schools take priority, but this complaint was frustrating the commuting population significantly, so we had to dedicate some resources temporarily.

“2. The effect:

According to my officer, and some patrol officers who helped, the vast majority of the violators knew they had broken the law and were simply waiting for the day they were finally caught. In essence, drivers grow impatient and try anything they can to gain the smallest advantage in gridlock traffic. We all know it makes no difference in your arrival time, but it is better to go 2 MPH than 0 MPH I suppose.

“3. The law:

[Question: Obviously if someone goes through the gore triangle, they are cited. But don’t they have some distance to merge left, while the solid single-width white broken line is still single-width? Doesn’t it become citable for changing lanes only after merging left across the double-width broken white line where the “right turn” area starts?]

Your understanding is 100% accurate. Drivers are only cited if they drive over the gore triangle which is protected by a SOLID white line. The broken white line goes right up to that triangle and, all safety considered, allows for a merge right up to the triangle. Without getting overly hypothetical, as long as the lane change is made before the solid white line perimeter of the triangle, it’s LEGAL.

“4. Summary:

To truly address the issue, it will take an engineering study. It gets tricky because the roadway is part of State Route 260 and there is concurrent jurisdiction between the City of Alameda Public Works – Traffic Engineering and CALTRANS. Any construction upgrades take review by both and the fiscal side also takes two looks. I AM NOT AN ENGINEER BUT, I think making the line solid leading up to the gore point AND adding some breakaway delineators surrounding the gore point would greatly reduce the frustration. It may also simply move the issue back further and cause unsafe lane changes closer to Marina Village Parkway.

What very few people seem to realize is that all traffic issues come down to human input. We can paint lines, build safety zones, and write tickets all day long. If we all drove with a little more courtesy, these issues would be no issue at all. But, hence, I have a very busy job with many moving parts!”

4 comments to Motorist Sore Point Over The Gore Point

  • pat

    THIS issue and the countless millions of complaints and resulting citationsfor traffic violations due to the inadequacy of Alameda’s traffic infrastructures inability to accommodate the increase in road way use issues should be redirected to the city council,the planning department , and the cleaver and now employed past council members who have allowed this situation to develop and are now becoming visible as the real violators of this small cities well being by allowing growth beyond the existing traffic infrastructures capacity to handle the higher volume of traffic, and , additionally have not made any effort to relieve the burden of funding the remedy by the residents of Alameda

  • Keith

    The problem is that drivers in the CORRECT or THROUGH LANE, which is the LEFT LANE, continue to “let in”, these drivers who, despite the HUGE WHITE ARROWS in the right lane, that point to the left, telling drivers that the lane ends and they need to merge. If people in the through lane, would quit letting these drivers in, the problem would be solved, as people who drive in the right lane, would realize that they will be delayed if they do not merge into the correct through lane, earlier. Imagine if what people are now doing, regarding letting people in to the through lane, was used in other situations? Example, you are in the line at Safeway about three back, and someone just walks up to the front of the line, “merging” into the line. And suppose the second person in the line, just “let them in”, what do you think would happen with the rest of the people standing in line? Do you think they would just let this happen without saying anything? Of course not! How about standing in the line at the bank? Again, what would happen if this same policy of just letting people in the wrong lane [the right lane] were to be adopted at the bank, and someone just walked into the bank, and just moved into the line in the bank, near the front, notwithstanding, the rest of the people already in line? Do you think nobody would say anything? And yet, THIS is what is happening everyday in the traffic lane entering the tube from Alameda, in the morning. I NEVER let anyone in front of me, and yes, I get some honking, middle finger waving, and yelling, but hey, THEY are the ones in the wrong, not me! I am in the CORRECT LANE, the LEFT [or THROUGH] LANE.

  • Per APD in the article, using both lanes up to the gore point is legal.

    There’s also some new thinking about using all available roadway…

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/arstechnica.com/cars/2014/07/the-beauty-of-zipper-merging-or-why-you-should-drive-ruder/%3Famp%3D1

  • Jill

    I can’t help but wonder if changing that right-turn only lane into a through lane would help alleviate the traffic congestion going into the Posey Tube. It seems like a perfectly good, useable lane to me. Why does it have to be a right-turn only lane? Is it truly an issue of safety? If not, could it be easily changed so it’s legally useable to through traffic?

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