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What do you think of the new flashing yellow arrow for left turns?,1607,7-151-9615_44557-157538--,00.html

They just upgraded an intersection and added the flashing yellow light. I’d never seen it before. It means you can turn left but watch for traffic. I don’t know how this is an improvement to a simple flashing red light but I suspect a traffic signal vendor came up with it to sell more signals. Coming nation-wide if you haven’t gotten one yet or maybe everyone else got them and we’re the last ones in Minnesota. I think its kind of a silly waste of money and will only cause significant confusion.

Well it has been a little slow around here lately.


I haven’t seen them yet . . . you’re obviously not the last ones in Minnesota

A flashing red light means that you have to stop first, so that’s not the same thing.

Doesn’t a SOLID GREEN mean, “turn, but look out for oncoming traffic?” So what does a flashing yellow arrow accomplish, other than confusing people?

According to the feds, the green arrow means that on-coming traffic is stopped, but a yellow means on-coming traffic is not stopped.

A solid green circle, not a green arrow @Bing. Meaning, a standard cross intersection, without special protection for left-turning traffic.

All you’re accomplishing is confusing the type of people that didn’t understand the old signal either.

Each state is different. I’ve never seen that. NH or MA may never will see it.

We have had these lights in our area for about 2 years. I got used to them after passing under them a few times. The only part I like about them is that you don’t have to stop so I guess that improves traffic flow.

I’ve seen them before, usually at an intersection where all the lights are flashing, red in two directions and yellow in the other two directions. I’ve seen them in other places at night, at intersections where the lights run normal cycles during the day but flash at night. As long as the crossing traffic has a red light of some kind, flashing or solid, you just use caution.

We have them at some intersections, not at others, so it’s very inconsistent.

Here, it’s only used in left turn lanes to indicate when you don’t have a protected (solid green arrow) turn. Used to be a solid green light for that, with a sign next to it saying something like ‘unprotected turn on solid green’. So I guess they’re saving the cost of that sign.

That would be a complete and total waste of money here. People will simply pull out and block the through traffic if they are making a left regardless of the signals. Even blocking traffic if they can’t get completely through the intersection due to cars backed up or the frequent jay-walker going against the signals…

NH and MA has NEW (less then 2 years old) traffic lights where you have no idea you have an advanced green for turning left. The light turns green…and you’re waiting for the on-coming traffic to move…they don’t…that’s when you realize that you “MAY” have advanced green. It’s very frustrating. When I first moved to New England some 30 years ago I thought it was just some old traffic lights that they never bothered to add an advanced green arrow for. But then they’ve built new traffic intersections with lights that have the same feature. Those lights and building NEW traffic circles is really really DUMB.

I really like the ones they have in Eden Prairie, MN so much that when I saw the city manager of Edina, I asked him if Edina could get some of those installed. Way too much time is wasted waiting around for a green turn signal when it’s perfectly safe to go.

What city have you seen them in, Bing?

I love it, never liked sitting with a red turn arrow when there was absolutely no oncoming traffic. One of the MN things I love, that only seems popular in the northern part of the state is yellow flashing lights when you are going to have to stop at an upcoming light. It starts flashing, you ain’t going to get through, no flashing you are golden.

@goldwing They just redid an intersection and bridge in Faribault and installed the new signals. Maybe just a sign “turn with caution on flashing yellow arrow” or something would help the confusion.

We will get them in our state when we replace the oil lamps on street corners with electric ones.

Anytime u have cars crossing the path of oncoming vehicles u will have crashes. Why do people run into parked cars? The world is populated with many folks of questionable intelligence.

Whale oil, @dagosa?

Oregon started using them several years ago, including at the one major intersection in my town. (Still has a green arrow with all other traffic stopped, changes to flashing yellow when thru traffic is green.) Improved traffic no end; it used to be a two- to three-minute wait for a left turn if you hit the arrow at the change to red, and now it’s generally a minute or less.

Also fewer accidents and near-misses than before - the number of people who’ll misjudge the speed of oncoming traffic seems to be a lot lower than the number who used to try to beat the red arrow.