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Ask Mr. Answer Person: "Is it legal to do U-turns on Water Street?"

Posted: Wed, Nov 6, 2013 12:39 PM
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Karen e-mails: "Is it legal to do U-turns on Water Street? I have seen this happen so many times and there isn't enough room so it ends up being a three-point turn! Many cities have a law against U-turns on their main streets, for safety reasons, I assume."

Mr. Answer Person says: "Here's exactly what the City of Decorah municipal code says about u-turns: 'No vehicle shall be turned so as to proceed in the opposite direction unless such movement can be made in safety and oncoming traffic has an unobstructed view from either direction of at least five hundred feet from the point of such U-turn. In no case shall the operator of a motor vehicle make a U-turn at any intersection which is controlled by traffic signs or signals, or in places where signs are posted specifically prohibiting U-turns.'

So, to summarize, u-turns ARE legal, but under several conditions: 1) You have to do so safely; 2) You have to have at least 500 feet in either direction without traffic; 3) You can't make a u-turn at an intersection with traffic lights or signals; 4) You can't make a u-turn where there's a sign prohibiting u-turns.

Happy u-turning!

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