A single lane in the center of a highway used solely for making left turns from either direction of traffic.

Sounds like a great idea, but it's one of the few times in United States automobile travel when the normal flow of traffic puts you in the same lane as a car going in the opposite direction. Now, if everyone's paying attention, and the entrances to stores or homes are positioned properly, no problem, but this does not have to be the case. Thus the idea that you're taking your life into your own hands.

Suicide lanes are often also used as on ramps by idiots who are making left turns from a parking lot onto the road. This is wrong. The lanes are for left turns from the main road only. If you can't make it clean without using the suicide lane, don't turn.

On the Golden Gate Bridge the lanes of opposing traffic are divided only by small rubbery posts called penguins. The penguins are about 18" tall, yellow, and have a strip of reflectorized material around the top. Each has a peg on the bottom which fits into a little hole in the asphalt. They are moved throughout the day by people called paddlers who are seated in a specially made pickup truck bed which allows one person to pull penguins out of their spots on one side, while another places them into the roadbed holes on the other. In this way the number of lanes going north or south are changed throughout the day to suit commute needs.

These penguins have no possibility of stopping any vehicle which might be traveling over the Golden Gate Bridge. Hence, in the two middle lanes, where traffic travels at least 45 miles per hour, there is nothing but penguins placed every ten feet or so as a barrier to oncoming traffic. These center lanes are the suicide lanes, where numerous gruesome and fatal accidents have occurred as a result of head-ons on the Bridge.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.