Posted by Jessi Turnure
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Various left turn signals will look a little different starting Monday morning.
Crews started installing flashing yellow turn signals Monday at six intersections throughout the city, beginning with the one at Highland Drive and Bittle Street.
Mark Nichols, one of the city's traffic operations engineers, said this change will increase safety and traffic flow even more at busy intersections. "We've analyzed the city and starting out we chose six locations that would be the greatest benefit and the most efficient use of city funds."
Nichols said this project will cost the city about $60,000. "The Federal Highway Administration now recognizes this as the proper left turn movement and so any new traffic signals with the protective permissive left turn movement will have the flashing yellow arrow configuration."
Nichols said Jonesboro already has nine intersections with this flashing yellow turn signal. "So the public they're used to them already. So we feel like this will be an efficient improvement the city can make.""it's more intuitive for drivers to yield to oncoming traffic with a flashing yellow arrow verses a green ball."
But some in Region 8 aren't so sure. Here is what some residents said:
"I think that's crazy...to have a yellow flashing light."
"I kinda like it the way it was. That way I didn't get confused. At a busy intersection like this, getting confused could lead to an accident."
"I think that's kinda dangerous right here on the main street."
"It'd work okay, but I like the green better."
But Nichols insisted the yellow flashing arrow is better. "The Highway Transportation Department started installing these around 2007 across the whole state and we received very few complaints. As a matter of fact, most motorists, you know, don't even recognize there's a change many times."
Nichols said the city should finish this project by the end of the week. He said the city will add more flashing yellow arrow signals at stop lights when more funding is available.