Traffic Q&A: Yield to the vehicle on your right — here, there, and in Colorado

Question: We recently moved to Tacoma’s North End and have two traffic questions. There seem to be many intersections of secondary roads without any stop signs or yield signs. Who has the right of way in these situations?

Also, people seem to park on both sides of the street facing both directions. We moved from Colorado, where it is customary to park facing one direction on one side of the street and facing the other direction on the other side of the street. Why is it not like that in North End Tacoma? — Karen Hultgren, Tacoma

Answer: Tacoma and the state of Colorado have essentially the same driving and parking rules. At intersections without stop or yield signs, you’re supposed to slow down and check for approaching vehicles. If nobody’s coming, drive on through. If somebody’s there ahead of you, yield. If you and another car arrive at the same time, the vehicle on the right has the right of way.

As for parking, you can usually park on either side of the street, but you’re supposed to leave your car facing in the direction of travel — same as in Colorado.

That said, there are many smaller residential streets in Tacoma’s North End where people tend to park in whichever direction is more convenient, and nobody cares or makes an issue of it. If someone complains, chances are the cops will start writing tickets.