New Yellow Turn Arrows Send 'Mixed Signals' to Drivers
Published July 10th, 2013
GAINESVILLE - It may be a case of mixed signals for many drivers around north central Florida, as a new feature is added to many traffic lights.
Drivers in Gainesville may notice a flashing yellow left-turn arrow at many of the city's busiest intersections. The arrow is supposed to remind drivers they can turn left if the approaching traffic is clear.
In 2010, the federal government cleared the way for cities to begin installing these flashing arrows as a way to keep drivers from having to wait at left-turn signals as well as improve driver safety.
"It's much easier for drivers to understand that there is a permitted turn when that yellow arrow is flashing," said Chip Skinner, spokesperson for Gainesville's Public Works Department. "When it was just a solid yellow arrow, then they tend to hesitate."
While some drivers see the new arrow as a welcome addition, others say the new light only adds confusion for drivers who have never seen it before.
Public Works officials could not say exactly how much the new traffic signals cost, but say they are being paid for using federal grant money for the city's traffic management system.
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