I commute by bicycle every day from Los Altos to my job on Stanford campus. Most days I make a right turn from Arastradero onto Foothill. The stop light is actually at Miranda, and there is a right-turn-only lane onto Miranda. About once or twice a week, I see that a motorist is stopped in the right-turn-only lane, then proceeds straight to merge onto Foothill when the light turns green. The car to my left is also usually turning onto Foothill. This sandwiches me, as a cyclist, between two cars, only one of which should be there.
I actually don't mind. As a cyclist who has never owned a car, I cherish my own independence and ability to handle any situation. Only occasionally do things become at all a bit close. Rather, this problem far more greatly affects motorists who want to turn right onto Miranda: they're stuck at a (long) red light instead of getting to turn, just because the motorist up front has it wrong!
It occurred to me this morning that as a cyclist, I'm in a unique position to observe what's going on, while the motorists who are stuck behind the stopped car actually can't see what's happening. So today I'm advocating for those motorists: we need to do something about that lane. The four or so signs are not enough or are too ambiguous. There needs to be two completely over-the-top, ridiculously obvious signs that the lane does not turn onto Foothill: one at the beginning of the turn lane (so that a motorist doesn't enter to the right of two columns of stopped cars, only to find out later, when the motorist is locked in, what the true situation is) and one at the turn itself. One possible approach would be to add signs that say what the lane is *not* for: for example, "NO TURN onto Foothill".
Thanks for reading.