I live in a fairly busy neighborhood in Great Falls just off of 9th street.

Lots of people have lots of cars that are abandoned, in need of repair, flat tires, you name it. They also pull all sorts of weird traffic maneuvers like parking on the wrong side of the road, double parking as well as pulling a u-turn in front of you while they have the right-of-way in an intersection.

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That's the only thing that gets me.

Without really paying attention, I thought it was the same person doing this by my house. However, it's a lot of people. Some even try to wave me by while committing to a u-turn which is very odd to me and sends mixed signals.

It's totally legal to commit a u-turn in a residential area unless there are signs indicating that a u-turn is prohibited. However, there are rules that help with traffic safety.

In a residential district, one can only u-turn when there is no traffic within 200 feet or one has a protected traffic signal. That 200 feet is just shy of one city block.


That was one of the things that really stuck out at me during driver's education in high school. In fact, my teacher said to just measure with a whole city block and then some just to be safe.

Just to be clear Montana does have a code for safe u-turns:

Montana Code 61-8-334. Limitation on U-turns -- turning on curve or crest of grade prohibited.

An operator of a vehicle may not turn the vehicle to proceed in the opposite direction:

- unless the movement can be made safely and without interfering with other traffic; or

- upon any curve or upon the approach to or near the crest of a grade where the vehicle cannot be seen by the operator of any other vehicle approaching from either direction within 500 feet.

Drive safe out there.

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