Should I Stay or Should I Go? Flashing Yellow Arrows Being Used in Bellevue

You may have noticed something a little different driving through Bellevue lately:  Flashing Yellow Arrows (FYA) at traffic signals.  No, Bellevue is not turning into the Las Vegas strip, but rather making it more efficient to turn left at traffic signals. 

This new technology can make your drive a little easier.  According to the Federal Highway Administration, this new technique helps to increase yield rates and safety at intersections. 

Given the newness of FYA in Bellevue, there may be some confusion as to the correct way to drive through an intersection with a flashing yellow arrow.  It’s not difficult really, here’s what you need to remember as a driver:

  1. Solid red arrow: Drivers turning left must stop and wait.
  2. Solid green arrow: Drivers can proceed with left turn.
  3. Solid yellow arrow: Drivers prepare to stop.
  4. Solid red arrow: A very short clearance interval where drivers turning left must stop.
  5. Flashing yellow arrow: Drivers may proceed with left turn after yielding to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.
  6. Solid yellow arrow: Drivers prepare to stop.
  7. Solid red arrow: Drivers turning left must stop and wait.

In addition to improving safety, FYA are saving time and money.  If a motorist’s time is valued at $15/hour, then FYA turns are saving Bellevue motorists an estimated $1.5 million in reduced delay annually!

Bellevue has added FYA to 52 intersections with another 11 coming before year-end.  Of these locations, 34 allow FYA left turns after the green arrow where previously the left turn displayed a red arrow which prohibits left turns even after yielding to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.

More information:

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