GDOT installing turn signal at Memorial & 2nd

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt August 13, 2014
GDOT Is installing a new left turn signal at Memorial and 2nd Avenue. Source: Google Maps

GDOT Is installing a new left turn signal at Memorial and 2nd Avenue. Source: Google Maps

The Georgia Department of Transportation says that today it will be installing a new signal at Memorial Drive and 2nd Avenue, a move that could reduce left-turn related crashes by 35 percent.

“The new signal is known as a Four-Section Flashing Yellow Arrow (FYA) traffic light that will provide an extended period of time for motorists to turn left after yielding to any oncoming traffic,” GDOT says.

GDOT said it will install the signals at other Atlanta intersections with notoriously high rates of left turns. There will be “several more” installed at other Memorial Drive intersections in the near future, GDOT says.

Here’s how the new signal will work, according to GDOT:

The new “flashing yellow arrow” component of the signals applies exclusively to drivers making left turns.  The signal configuration will be a vertical display of four left turn arrows functioning as follows (displayed at the end of this release):

When solid Red arrow is illuminated, no left turn is allowed;

When solid Yellow arrow is displayed, drivers should prepare to stop as light is about to turn red;

When flashing Yellow arrow is illuminated, drivers may turn left but must yield to pedestrians and oncoming vehicles; and

When solid Green arrow is displayed, drivers may turn left.

GDOT says that the Federal Highway Administration has studied the signals and determined they reduce left-turn related crashes by as much as 35 percent.

“During heavy traffic volume the traffic signal may skip the flashing yellow phase to increase safety at the intersection,” GDOT says. “It is important that drivers not try to anticipate what the traffic signal is about to do; just ‘drive and obey the signal.’ If the traffic signal has a malfunction the left turn will flash red.  As with all signalized intersections, a flashing red is treated as a stop condition and flashing yellow is treated as proceed with caution.  If all indications at an intersection are flashing red or the intersection is dark it should be treated as a four-way stop.”

Jeffery Childers, president of the Kirkwood Neighbor’s Association, said the new signals are “a great idea, because I have seen some terrible accidents from drivers turning left at Second Avenue.”

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