Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Strange New Customs

When we first moved here and were visiting another local town, the one with the closest library, photo copy service, and such and noticed signs along Main Street forbidding U-turns and J-turns.  What are J-turns?

Of course we came home and looked it up online, but all we found were videos of stunt drivers doing stunt driving stunts.  It seemed unlikely that a small town would need to expressly forbid such a thing and post it on signs along the main street. There is supposed to be a YouTube video below, let's see if it works!

Eventually I remembered to ask someone when I was in town.  You see, Stevensville (the State of Montana's "first permanent settlement") has such a wide main street that there is diagonal parking on each side of the street; so in Stevi (as the locals call it) J-turning is pulling into a parking spot from the opposite lane of traffic.  When I drove into town after the last heavy snow a few weeks ago and saw this 18" pile of snow down the center of the street I thought, "Try to J-turn now, suckahs!"

Eric saw a 4' pile of snow between lanes of traffic in downtown Missoula around the same time.  Hoo boy.


  1. *Hee hee* Lookit you, gettin' all local and stuff! I'd never heard about the J-turn thing either- I guess Boise's streets just aren't as accomodating. (They also don't have 4' of snow in the center, though, either.) Hope the snow you're getting is welcome- if not, hope it melts off soon! :)

  2. Not only is there room for diagonal parking on both sides of the street, there is room for you to back up and turn w/o getting into the lane of traffic! Dude. I hate complaints about weather when it's normal-ish weather, but I'm about done dealing with the snow on the driveway! Melting is only going to make it worse before it gets better, too. I want to see all the gorgeous white snow, but we can be done with accumulation for awhile. They actually have had school closures in the valley this week!

  3. I'm really enjoying your blog! In New York, to get your license, you have to parallel park and execute a J turn. They consider a J turn to be turning around on a narrow street, by turning 90 degrees into the left curb, backing up while moving the rear of the car to the right and then going back the way you came. And they make you do it on a residential road with cars parked on both sides.

  4. Welcome Mysterious New Yorker! Wow, another type of J-turn! I think that in Oregon where I spent my first fortymumble years what you describe is something that's not necessarily illegal all the time, but not something anyone in a position of authority would want to condone. Like it's a U-turn that you didn't have enough room to execute, silly! :)


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