Vancouver: Prior St. Eastbound at Georgia Viaduct

Vancouver: Prior St. Eastbound at Georgia Viaduct

Question : At a Y intersection, where a vehicle on the right arm of the Y has stopped for a red light, can that vehicle then proceed if there is no approaching traffic on the left arm of the Y.  (for example, east bound traffic on Prior St where it intersects with the east end of the Georgia Street viaduct).


It’s a good question and I can see how one might think that this is somewhat similar to a right turn on a red light. But I just can’t see how this is a “right turn.”

In this case, you are driving on Prior St. facing a red light at an intersection and after the intersection you are still on Prior Street. You are not turning your steering wheel (well, maybe a wee bit) or using your turn signals. So, you are not turning left or right.

So the question here is, “Can I go straight at a red light?” & the answer to this is NO (unless you are not at an intersection, and those are few and far between).

Thank you ICBC for this timely Twitter response:


If you were meant to have the power to make a decision at this intersection, then you would be facing a yield sign (or a stop sign), not a red light.

Due to the angle here and the elevation difference, it’s quite difficult to get a good view (if any) of the (speeding?) traffic on Georgia. This red light is a definite safety measure, so drivers, just be patient here.


Thanks for the question Jonathan.

Main and 49th, a perfectly normal ‘right angle’ turn:


King Edward eastbound turning onto Kingsway; still a turn ‘to the right’ even though the angle is not 90 degrees:


Prior and Georgia; it’s a straight line or if anything, a few degrees to the left. It is not a right turn by any stretch of the imagination: