MassDOT today announced it will activate new traffic signal technology that has been proven to increase safety at intersections.
The signal technology is being activated at the intersection of Great Road and King Street in Littleton, left. The signal heads have four left-turn arrows: one steady red arrow, indicating that left turns are prohibited; one steady yellow arrow, indicating the signal is changing from green to red; a new, flashing yellow arrow, indicating that drivers can proceed with left turns after yielding to oncoming vehicles; and one steady green arrow, indicating left turns are permitted.
“The flashing yellow arrow is a better indicator to drivers that they must yield the right of way to oncoming traffic. Drivers with the flashing yellow arrow can still turn left, but only when it is safe to do so,” said MassDOT Acting Secretary Frank DePaola. “Through the use of this new technology, we’re confident the turning movements will be clearer to drivers, and the intersection will be safer as a result.”
In addition to the new signal technology, intersection improvements include reconfiguration of the travel lanes on King Street to provide a dedicated left-turn lane in both directions on to Great Road.
This is the second installation of Flashing Yellow technology. In January 2013, MassDOT installed Flashing Yellow Arrow signal heads at the intersection of Holmes Road and Pittsfield Road in Lenox. Since this first of its kind installation, the high-crash intersection has only seen one left-turn crash.
Based on the success of its use in Lenox, MassDOT determined that its use in Littleton will achieve a similar result in improving safety at Great Road and King Street.
The Littleton intersection will precede a statewide effort to retrofit some 350 signal heads around the Commonwealth, which will begin next year.
More information on Flashing Yellow Arrow is available at: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/highway/Departments/TrafficandSafetyEngineering/TrafficSignals/FlashingYellowArrow.aspx.
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