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April 20, 2021
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City of RP Updates

Don Schwartz
Flashing yellow signals
February 26, 2021

Have you ever seen a Flashing Yellow Arrow on a traffic light?  The city is implementing this new type of traffic signal to provide safer left-turns for drivers that will help traffic flow better. 

The Flashing Yellow Arrow signals will replace the left arrow signals for left-turns at some intersections. The Flashing Yellow Arrow has been implemented successfully elsewhere. Studies show that drivers better understand the need to yield to oncoming traffic with a Flashing Yellow Arrow. These new signals give drivers more opportunities to make left turns, but some drivers may be confused when they see a Flashing Yellow Arrow because they're not sure what to do. 

Let's run through how these signals operate. The green arrow means you have the right-of-way to make a left turn. All incoming traffic and pedestrians are stopped. The solid yellow arrow is a warning telling you the light is about to turn red. The red arrow means stop and wait. 

The Flashing Yellow Arrow means you can make a left turn if there's a safe gap from oncoming traffic. Check for oncoming bicycles and pedestrians attempting to cross the intersection. Always yield to the pedestrians as they have the right-of-way. If you don't see a gap in traffic, don't take a chance. Wait until the next green arrow appears. It will be up to all of us to make sure we use these new lights safely.

Benefits of Flashing Yellow Arrows include reductions in traffic delays, decreases in left-turn collisions, increased opportunities for left turns and consistency with our neighboring cities.

Keep an eye out for road construction signs as the signals are installed. The construction will take approximately three weeks to complete. The following locations are scheduled to start within a month:

• Camino Colegio & East Cotati Ave.

• Commerce Blvd. & Alison Ave.

• Commerce Blvd. & Avram Ave.

• Golf Course Dr. & Country Club Dr.

• Golf Course Dr. & Labath Ave.

• Snyder Lane & Eleanor Ave.

To learn more about our signal improvements, visit the city’s website at rpcity.org/signals. Signal problems can be reported at www.rpcity.org/24-7. When reporting problems with traffic signals, be sure to include the intersection and cross street, direction of travel, color of malfunctioning signal light and overhead arm or corner pole.