Statement as issued Thursday by INDOT:
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces signal improvements to SR 1/Dupont Road at three intersections on the north side of Fort Wayne.
During January 2014, weather permitting, INDOT crews will begin to activate new left-turn signals that provide a flashing yellow arrow for left-turning traffic at SR 1/Dupont Road and Parkview Plaza Drive, Diebold Road and Tonkel Road. The "permissive" flashing yellow arrow allows left-turning traffic to yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic and pedestrians, and turn when a suitable gap is available.
On SR 1 in this area, drivers have been able to make both "protected" and "permissive" (i.e. "yielding") left turns at these intersections with a steady green arrow, followed by a steady yellow arrow and then a steady green ball, which indicated left-turning traffic could proceed after yielding the right-of-way to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.
With the new flashing yellow arrow (FYA) configuration, drivers will still be able to make protected left turns with a steady green arrow. A steady yellow arrow will follow that phase, and then a steady red arrow for a short time segment (1-2 seconds). At that point, a flashing yellow arrow will allow left-turning traffic to proceed, while the opposing through traffic has a green light, after yielding the right-of-way to pedestrians and oncoming traffic. The FYA will be followed by a steady yellow arrow and then a steady red arrow again.
The steady yellow left-turn arrow retains its standard meaning that the signal is about to change to a steady red arrow, and drivers should prepare to stop, or, if they have already entered the intersection, they should complete the left turn when oncoming traffic has cleared.
National research has shown that the FYA is more intuitive for left-turning drivers in a "protected-permissive" signal situation than a steady green ball, resulting in fewer crashes and moving traffic more efficiently. These types of signals are only used on intersection approaches with dedicated left-turn lanes, which clear the way for through and right-turning traffic.
The new signal offers operational benefits that are not possible with the current five-section (also known as "doghouse") left turn signals. For example, in some locations, the signal's left turn phase could operate as "protected only" during certain hours of the day, and then as "protected-permissive" during other hours of the day, depending on traffic flows. The flashing yellow arrow may also be displayed before and/or after the protected green and solid yellow left turn arrows to improve traffic flow.
The FYA signals are being introduced nationwide, and have been adopted by most states, including neighboring Ohio, Michigan and Illinois.
In the future, INDOT plans to replace most of its five-section or "doghouse" left-turn signals with the new four-section signals featuring a flashing yellow arrow. The protected left turn with steady green and steady yellow arrows will continue to be used when it is difficult to find or judge gaps in oncoming through traffic.
A press conference held at the INDOT Fort Wayne District Traffic Annex building earlier today, December 12, 2013, introduced the phases of these FYA signals, using actual signal heads in a demonstration.
More information about the flashing yellow left-turn arrow is available on INDOT's web site at www.in.gov/indot/3202.htm.
NOTE: A video on INDOT's YouTube channel (IndianaDOT) explains the flashing yellow arrow phases: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmSfBsVKs7o
The Elkhart County Highway Department has activated a flashing yellow arrow signal at the intersection of CR 17 and CR 18. Some "B" roll footage of this signal working is available as an unlisted video here: