(March 21, 2012) The City of Frisco is implementing a new left-turn traffic signal display designed to make intersections safer, reduce “wait times” and provide greater signal timing flexibility. Beginning in April, Frisco will install flashing yellow arrow (FYA) left-turn signals at the following four intersections:
· Preston Road at Hickory Street
· Legacy Drive at Lakehill Boulevard
· Rolater Road at Independence Parkway
· Lebanon Road at Parkwood Boulevard
The FYA signals will replace the solid green, circular left-turn signals. Engineers estimate it will take two years to change out displays at 80 signalized intersections throughout Frisco. All future signals constructed in Frisco will include the FYA design.
“Federal studies have shown over the past ten years that using the flashing yellow arrows is easier for drivers to understand and alleviates confusion,” said Brian Moen, Assistant Director of Engineering Services-Transportation.
Moen reports, in 2010, approximately one third of Frisco’s auto accidents at signalized intersections involved left-turns. In 2009, nearly 40 percent of all Frisco crashes at signalized intersections were related to left-turns.
2010: 130 left-turn crashes 414 total crashes at signalized intersections
2009: 152 left-turn crashes 384 total crashes at signalized intersections
The Federal Highway Administration approved FYA signals for widespread use in 2009. The 2011 Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (TMUTCD), released in December 2011, requires cities install FYA left-turn displays at signals with protected/permitted left-turns. The cost to replace each signal with the FYA ranges from $650 - $1,300, per intersection. Funds for this traffic signal maintenance will come from the City of Frisco’s General Fund.
FYA permits drivers to turn left, but they should move through the intersection with caution while yielding to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. The FYA will eventually become a steady (non-flashing) yellow – or green arrow.
“Drivers should treat the ‘steady’ yellow arrow just like a standard yellow light,” said Moen. “Prepare to stop or clear the intersection before the red arrow appears. The FYA is more intuitive and will help drivers make better decisions when making left turns.”
FYAs will also help engineers move traffic more efficiently during peak traffic hours, emergencies and special events, making mobility more efficient. For more information, go to www.friscotexas.gov/FYA or YouTube.