Oregon law allows drivers to make a left on a red light if they are turning on a one-way street. So if you are sitting here on Third Avenue, waiting to go left on Lyon, you should be able to make the turn if nothing is coming down the street from your right. But as you can see, you can’t see, at least not far enough to tell if it’s safe to make the turn.
The city encourages and may even requires landscaping in and around parking lots, even though the advantages of shrubs on downtown lots are overrated, in my opinion. Shrubs are especially out of place when they grow tall enough to get in the way of looking down the street to see if there’s a pickup or something careening toward the intersection at 35 mph to make the light. (The speed limit is 25, and ODOT has been complaining that it should be 20, but traffic on that main drag usually isn’t that slow unless there’s congestion.)
The obvious solution here is to be patient and wait for the light to change and not even try to make a left on red. This, though, is not the only Albany intersection where sight lines are obscured. Sometimes the fault lies not with not trees or bushes but a building (as on Water Avenue) or a big fat van parked near the corner and impossible to see around. On those corners, you take your life in your hands. Especially if, unlike in the photo above, you’re on a bike (hh)