A new type of left-turn signal is being introduced throughout the state, and Lampasas will soon see the change with seven new signals scheduled for installation as the Key Avenue project wraps up this fall.
The new signals include the addition of a flashing yellow arrow that traffic experts say will reduce confusion, improve safety and move more vehicles through an intersection.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has been installing Flashing Yellow Arrow (FYA) signals for several months in other parts of the state at locations already equipped with "permissive" left-turn lanes and signals. A permissive left-turn operation is one where vehicles do not have a protected left turn and must yield to oncoming traffic. These FYA signals will eventually replace the traditional circular green signal at some left turns commonly used throughout the state.
Research shows that the new FYA signal is safer, more efficient and presents a more consistent approach to signalization for left-turn lanes. TxDOT recently changed its traffic control device standards to reflect national changes, including the use of the FYA signal system.
"Based on recent safety studies, the flashing arrow left-turn signal reduces traffic crashes for those vehicles turning left at busy intersections," said Brownwood District Engineer Elias Rmeili, P.E. "Sometimes motorists are confused about when to turn with the standard green circular traffic signal. The new FYA signal is easier for drivers to understand."
FYA signals will be placed at certain left-turn lanes in signalized intersections and contain a flashing yellow arrow as well as a steady green, yellow and red arrow.
These new displays are similar to standard traffic signals.
•A steady green arrow allows the driver to make a protected left turn.
•A flashing yellow arrow allows the driver to turn left, but alerts the driver to yield to oncoming traffic.
•A steady yellow arrow alerts the driver that the signal is about to turn red and they should prepare to stop or safely complete the turn.
•A steady red arrow requires the driver to stop.
The FYA system will be gradually introduced across the state and the nation as new signals are installed and existing signals are replaced.
The signals along Key Avenue that will use the FYA will be installed at the following cross streets and should be functional in October:
•US 190 (Central Texas Expressway)
•US 281 at East 9
•FM 580 West (North Avenue)
• Steady red arrow = Stop. No left turns allowed.
• Steady yellow arrow = Prepare to stop.
• Flashing yellow arrow = Left turns allowed, but must yield to oncoming traffic.
• Steady green arrow = Left turns allowed and protected.
Visit http://www.txdot.gov/safety/tips/yellow.htm for more information on the FYA signal system.