When driving, if I turn left at a T junction it does not involve crossing a lane, whereas turning right does.

This is in a country where we "drive on the left". The opposite applies if I were to "drive on the right".

So what's the term for the "left" and "right" turning manoeuvres at a T-junction, which could be understood by either convention?

For example,

"Executing a ____ turn at the junction is trickier than a ____ turn because of the need to cross the traffic flow."

The reason I ask comes from reading this post : anxious-about-riding-in-traffic-after-20-year-absence-from-cycling.

One user answers, suggesting this:

"Regarding traffic, I've decided never to do left turns on busy roads. Instead, I do a right, then U-turn/turn around and cross. This feels much safer."

I scratched my head at this, because I was reading it as if the author was also from England, where we drive on the left. This lead me to wonder if there is in fact an expression which does not require the country context.

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    Turns requiring one to cross the traffic flow are trickier than those that don’t. – Jim Dec 8 '16 at 15:30
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    I can allege no currency for this usage, but I might speak of a left turn at an American T-junction (where the road forming the stem of the T is the one on which I am approaching the intersection), or a right turn at an Irish one, as turning the hard way. (Inspiration from this comes from Damon Runyon, who applied it to one of the ways of making one's point at craps.) – Brian Donovan Dec 8 '16 at 15:32
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    The concept of a nearside turn might work, but offside turn almost certainly doesn't. – Andrew Leach Dec 8 '16 at 15:33
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    @bib Only in Gary Larsen's world, I think. Not British English, anyway. – Andrew Leach Dec 8 '16 at 15:39
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    You can turn with the traffic (right turn in USA, left in the UK), or turn "against" the oncoming traffic (opposite). – Alan Carmack Dec 9 '16 at 16:26

One possibility, commonly used by road transit operators even where no actual curb exists, is 'curbside turn'. This is opposed to 'roadside turn', or 'streetside turn' if 'roadside' might be misinterpreted.

(The authority for this answer comes from personal experience working in public transit operations.)


You could create neologistic phrases, traffic-bearing side and non traffic-bearing side, as in

Executing a turn to the non traffic-bearing side at the junction is trickier than a traffic-bearing turn because of the need to cross the traffic flow.

But that would require that the reader understand that traffic in most countries bears to a fixed side.


I think you can make up something generic in context of driving side used in respective countries like this:(although it may not be exact thing you are looking for)

"Executing a non-driving side turn at the junction is trickier than a driving side turn because of the need to cross the traffic flow."

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