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Author Topic: Reflective borders on San Diego County traffic signals  (Read 557 times)

Occidental Tourist

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Reflective borders on San Diego County traffic signals
« on: February 26, 2021, 03:22:53 AM »

Although almost all California traffic signals use dark colored backplates (as opposed opposed to the yellow ones that are common on the East Coast), San Diego County has been installing yellow retroreflective tape on its backplates to create a border.

Here’s an example on a traffic light north of Escondido:


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roadfro

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Re: Reflective borders on San Diego County traffic signals
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2021, 10:37:46 AM »

The yellow reflective border around signal backplates was an option introduced in the 2009 MUTCD, to enhance safety and conspicuousness of signal heads at night.


Agencies in Nevada have been adding the yellow borders.

Several new/reconstructed signals in the Reno-Sparks area have had the yellow borders installed sporadically over the last several years. But within the last year or so, yellow borders have been added to every signal along an NDOT-maintained roadway in the Reno-Sparks. I'm thinking it is (or will be) a regional standard now.

The yellow borders aren't as prevalent in the Las Vegas area yet. NDOT did a pilot project to retrofit them on to every signal along Rancho Dr (SR 599/US 95 Bus) in Vegas several years ago, well before they did the Reno area retrofits.
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Roadfro - AARoads Pacific Southwest moderator since 2010, Nevada roadgeek since 1983.

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Re: Reflective borders on San Diego County traffic signals
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2021, 10:50:17 AM »

Although almost all California traffic signals use dark colored backplates (as opposed opposed to the yellow ones that are common on the East Coast).

Isn't this true of everywhere in the US? Only place I've ever seen a yellow backplate is in Canada.

Occidental Tourist

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Re: Reflective borders on San Diego County traffic signals
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2021, 11:25:51 AM »

Although almost all California traffic signals use dark colored backplates (as opposed opposed to the yellow ones that are common on the East Coast).

Isn't this true of everywhere in the US? Only place I've ever seen a yellow backplate is in Canada.

You may be right.  My memory was that the yellow-painted signals used on the east coast also have yellow backplates.  In doing an internet search, though, it looks like in most instances where they use a yellow-painted signal, they use no backplate, or in the few instances where they do have a backplate, it’s a dark colored backplate to contrast with the yellow-painted signal.
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jdbx

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Re: Reflective borders on San Diego County traffic signals
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2021, 12:58:29 PM »

Although almost all California traffic signals use dark colored backplates (as opposed opposed to the yellow ones that are common on the East Coast), San Diego County has been installing yellow retroreflective tape on its backplates to create a border.


Caltrans is doing this to every signal which they maintain.  It's part of the response to the public safety power shutdowns that have been happening during high fire danger events.  Keeping the signals conspicuous during power outages is especially important during a wildfire evacuation situation where many people may be driving on unfamiliar roads during darkness.

https://dot.ca.gov/news-releases/news-release-2020-040

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M3100

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Re: Reflective borders on San Diego County traffic signals
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2021, 01:15:07 PM »


Caltrans is doing this to every signal which they maintain.  It's part of the response to the public safety power shutdowns {snip}  Keeping the signals conspicuous during power outages is especially important during a wildfire evacuation situation where many people may be driving on unfamiliar roads during darkness.

Yes - the yellow border alerts drivers to "dark" traffic lights...I have not been in a wildfire evacuation, but I have been in unfamiliar areas after high winds resulted in power failures.  When all the street lights, traffic lights, etc. are out it gets pretty dark out there... In most cases it is impractical for road crews to place temporary Stop signs at dark intersections during these events, so it is up to us drivers to keep it safe.
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ClassicHasClass

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Re: Reflective borders on San Diego County traffic signals
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2021, 08:42:40 PM »

They're everywhere out in my corner of Sunny So Cal. I think they're a great idea.
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bing101

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Re: Reflective borders on San Diego County traffic signals
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2021, 09:00:25 PM »

Although almost all California traffic signals use dark colored backplates (as opposed opposed to the yellow ones that are common on the East Coast), San Diego County has been installing yellow retroreflective tape on its backplates to create a border.

Here’s an example on a traffic light north of Escondido:




In Northern California, Vallejo does a similar thing with yellow reflectors on Traffic lights.
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