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National Boards => General Highway Talk => Traffic Control => Topic started by: blue.cable82 on August 06, 2017, 07:42:08 PM

Title: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: blue.cable82 on August 06, 2017, 07:42:08 PM
 I know that flashing yellow arrow have been around for a while. I wondering what the future of Flashing yellow arrow signals will be? (https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170806/dad510fcc206d3fbb42128c27dc4418f.jpg)

LGMS210

Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: ilpt4u on August 06, 2017, 08:58:11 PM
How bout just eliminate it and use the 5 Signal Head Tower, which has worked fine for years...

If it ain't broke...Don't fix it

I confess my biases, being an IL driver and the 5 Section Towers are the norm in this state (outside of Peoria, that is, which has gone with the Flashing Yellow Arrow)
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: UCFKnights on August 07, 2017, 12:47:59 AM
How bout just eliminate it and use the 5 Signal Head Tower, which has worked fine for years...

If it ain't broke...Don't fix it

I confess my biases, being an IL driver and the 5 Section Towers are the norm in this state (outside of Peoria, that is, which has gone with the Flashing Yellow Arrow)
The reason for the FYA is the 5 section towers ARE broken and needed fixing. They create yellow trap, which is extremely dangerous, and people frequently forgot they didn't have right of way if they didn't get the green arrow at the beginning of the cycle. FYA has been shown to solve all the problems with the 5 signal head and improve safety... with the added benefit of extra flexibility.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 07, 2017, 01:11:39 AM
How bout just eliminate it and use the 5 Signal Head Tower, which has worked fine for years...

If it ain't broke...Don't fix it

I confess my biases, being an IL driver and the 5 Section Towers are the norm in this state (outside of Peoria, that is, which has gone with the Flashing Yellow Arrow)
The reason for the FYA is the 5 section towers ARE broken and needed fixing. They create yellow trap, which is extremely dangerous, and people frequently forgot they didn't have right of way if they didn't get the green arrow at the beginning of the cycle. FYA has been shown to solve all the problems with the 5 signal head and improve safety... with the added benefit of extra flexibility.

Being that many states still don't have flashing yellows, and the states with flashing yellows still have large amounts of intersections without the flashing yellow, the yellow trap you site is made up. People didn't frequently forget anything.

A true yellow trap was when the light for one direction went completely red, however the opposing traffic still had a green. Left turning traffic believed the opposing traffic had a red also, and would complete their turn in front of traffic that still had a green light. Historically, that's how the yellow trap existed.

When you say there's a yellow trap today with a 5 section tower, it's not close to the same thing. Basic rules apply in those instances: traffic turning left on a green ball yields to opposing thru traffic. Its a very basic rule of driving.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jakeroot on August 07, 2017, 01:22:47 AM
I don't see a future for the original green-orb PPLT display for dedicated left turn lanes. It doesn't provide as many functions as the FYA, nor does it provide any safety benefits.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: UCFKnights on August 07, 2017, 01:29:18 AM
How bout just eliminate it and use the 5 Signal Head Tower, which has worked fine for years...

If it ain't broke...Don't fix it

I confess my biases, being an IL driver and the 5 Section Towers are the norm in this state (outside of Peoria, that is, which has gone with the Flashing Yellow Arrow)
The reason for the FYA is the 5 section towers ARE broken and needed fixing. They create yellow trap, which is extremely dangerous, and people frequently forgot they didn't have right of way if they didn't get the green arrow at the beginning of the cycle. FYA has been shown to solve all the problems with the 5 signal head and improve safety... with the added benefit of extra flexibility.

Being that many states still don't have flashing yellows, and the states with flashing yellows still have large amounts of intersections without the flashing yellow, the yellow trap you site is made up. People didn't frequently forget anything.

A true yellow trap was when the light for one direction went completely red, however the opposing traffic still had a green. Left turning traffic believed the opposing traffic had a red also, and would complete their turn in front of traffic that still had a green light. Historically, that's how the yellow trap existed.

When you say there's a yellow trap today with a 5 section tower, it's not close to the same thing. Basic rules apply in those instances: traffic turning left on a green ball yields to opposing thru traffic. Its a very basic rule of driving.
Yellow trap is not solved by time, its solved by the FYA. The way yellow trap has existed has not changed, and its gotten worse with all lights having sensors, adaptively skipping phases of the cycle and changing timings dynamically.

And people do forget (which was unrelated to my yellow trap statement). Thats why many areas post signs to remind people on every single 5 section tower, and even with that, I still see people forget on occasion. Just because they forget and go immediately doesn't mean there is an accident... the opposing traffic will see they forgot and just let them go to avoid the accident.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jakeroot on August 07, 2017, 01:49:14 AM
The way yellow trap has existed has not changed, and its gotten worse with all lights having sensors, adaptively skipping phases of the cycle and changing timings dynamically.

That's a fuckin fact. Just the other day, I approached a light to turn right (in a right turn lane). The signal changed from yellow to red for the street that I was turning on to. The signal then realised that I had turned right (and there was no one else approaching), so it never gave my direction a green. The street that I turned on to immediately got a green again (1 second red for them -- yes it visibly confused the drivers).

There's nothing wrong with what happened above. I'm glad that adaptive signals have taken over. They have the potential to seriously improve traffic flow. But they work a hell of a lot better when each movement has its own dedicated signal.



By the way, the diagram with the arrows in the OP is ridiculously confusing. I consider myself a traffic control expert, and I'm lost.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 07, 2017, 06:09:21 AM
How bout just eliminate it and use the 5 Signal Head Tower, which has worked fine for years...

If it ain't broke...Don't fix it

I confess my biases, being an IL driver and the 5 Section Towers are the norm in this state (outside of Peoria, that is, which has gone with the Flashing Yellow Arrow)
The reason for the FYA is the 5 section towers ARE broken and needed fixing. They create yellow trap, which is extremely dangerous, and people frequently forgot they didn't have right of way if they didn't get the green arrow at the beginning of the cycle. FYA has been shown to solve all the problems with the 5 signal head and improve safety... with the added benefit of extra flexibility.

Being that many states still don't have flashing yellows, and the states with flashing yellows still have large amounts of intersections without the flashing yellow, the yellow trap you site is made up. People didn't frequently forget anything.

A true yellow trap was when the light for one direction went completely red, however the opposing traffic still had a green. Left turning traffic believed the opposing traffic had a red also, and would complete their turn in front of traffic that still had a green light. Historically, that's how the yellow trap existed.

When you say there's a yellow trap today with a 5 section tower, it's not close to the same thing. Basic rules apply in those instances: traffic turning left on a green ball yields to opposing thru traffic. Its a very basic rule of driving.
Yellow trap is not solved by time, its solved by the FYA. The way yellow trap has existed has not changed, and its gotten worse with all lights having sensors, adaptively skipping phases of the cycle and changing timings dynamically.

And people do forget (which was unrelated to my yellow trap statement). Thats why many areas post signs to remind people on every single 5 section tower, and even with that, I still see people forget on occasion. Just because they forget and go immediately doesn't mean there is an accident... the opposing traffic will see they forgot and just let them go to avoid the accident.

Over 99% of existing traffic lights still operate the way they've operated for decades - without a FYA.  Life goes on fine.  In many states without a FYA, many of their drivers aren't even aware such a function exists.

There's signage at FYA lights instructing people what to do during the flashing yellow, so the signage issue hasn't been eliminated.  And as people have pointed out, FYAs can be used as protected and protected/permissive, so the yellow trap as you define it can still occur.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: kalvado on August 07, 2017, 07:53:36 AM
What I don't understand is why FYA is not incorporated in existing doghouse layout. For me that doghouse alone is a strong message. and replacing that one with a tower means loosing some communication.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: tradephoric on August 07, 2017, 08:21:58 AM
What I don't understand is why FYA is not incorporated in existing doghouse layout. For me that doghouse alone is a strong message. and replacing that one with a tower means loosing some communication.

Something like this?

Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: kalvado on August 07, 2017, 09:06:56 AM
What I don't understand is why FYA is not incorporated in existing doghouse layout. For me that doghouse alone is a strong message. and replacing that one with a tower means loosing some communication.

Something like this?


No, keeping green arrow in place for protected phase (if any), and repurposing yellow one as FYA/cycle indicator.
I understand that there is some discrepancy about yellow arrow at given moment being a transition to red or FYA, but how big of an issue that is? After all, FYA can also eventually switch to solid red ball...
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: vdeane on August 07, 2017, 12:43:43 PM
And people do forget (which was unrelated to my yellow trap statement). Thats why many areas post signs to remind people on every single 5 section tower, and even with that, I still see people forget on occasion. Just because they forget and go immediately doesn't mean there is an accident... the opposing traffic will see they forgot and just let them go to avoid the accident.
Forget, or just don't care?
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: kalvado on August 07, 2017, 12:52:15 PM
And people do forget (which was unrelated to my yellow trap statement). Thats why many areas post signs to remind people on every single 5 section tower, and even with that, I still see people forget on occasion. Just because they forget and go immediately doesn't mean there is an accident... the opposing traffic will see they forgot and just let them go to avoid the accident.
Forget, or just don't care?
I don't see too many people ignoring traffic lights. Trying to beat - maybe, but not ignore. Stop signs are much more ignorable, and speed limits...
I would expect FYA to inherit low ignore rate of regular traffic light...
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: vdeane on August 07, 2017, 01:25:40 PM
I would think that cutting a turn that forced oncoming traffic to slow down would have more in common with trying (but not necessarily succeeding) to beat the light rather than brazenly running the light.  I suspect many people think "yield" means "I can go if there's any kind of gap or if the car in front of me could go, even if oncoming traffic has to slow down" and not "I need a gap large enough to go without affecting oncoming traffic".
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: kalvado on August 07, 2017, 01:42:48 PM
I would think that cutting a turn that forced oncoming traffic to slow down would have more in common with trying (but not necessarily succeeding) to beat the light rather than brazenly running the light.  I suspect many people think "yield" means "I can go if there's any kind of gap or if the car in front of me could go, even if oncoming traffic has to slow down" and not "I need a gap large enough to go without affecting oncoming traffic".
And sometimes you have no other choice other than to choose minimal gaps. Roundabouts are especially good for that type of training. And as long as a razor blade can go between two bumpers, there should be no complains.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jakeroot on August 07, 2017, 01:45:31 PM
What I don't understand is why FYA is not incorporated in existing doghouse layout. For me that doghouse alone is a strong message. and replacing that one with a tower means loosing some communication.

You can't give the left turn a red light while simultaneously giving through traffic a green light. No better than a doghouse/tower.

And as people have pointed out, FYAs can be used as protected and protected/permissive, so the yellow trap as you define it can still occur.

Only if the engineer in-charge fails to setup the signals correctly. Though that's also true for the standard doghouse/tower displays.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: kalvado on August 07, 2017, 02:13:21 PM
What I don't understand is why FYA is not incorporated in existing doghouse layout. For me that doghouse alone is a strong message. and replacing that one with a tower means loosing some communication.

You can't give the left turn a red light while simultaneously giving through traffic a green light. No better than a doghouse/tower.

And as people have pointed out, FYAs can be used as protected and protected/permissive, so the yellow trap as you define it can still occur.

Only if the engineer in-charge fails to setup the signals correctly. Though that's also true for the standard doghouse/tower displays.

Well, we're (at least I) comparing FYA 4- or 5-light tower with a doghouse. My point is that arranging lights is a tower is as good(or as bad) as putting them in a doghouse, with doghouse having some advantages.
As for prohibiting turns... Here in NYS red arrow means "turn prohibited". So setting up a set of 3 arrows would be an answer. DOes MUTCD allow using yellow arrow within set of 3 as FYA? 
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jakeroot on August 07, 2017, 03:33:12 PM
What I don't understand is why FYA is not incorporated in existing doghouse layout. For me that doghouse alone is a strong message. and replacing that one with a tower means loosing some communication.

You can't give the left turn a red light while simultaneously giving through traffic a green light. No better than a doghouse/tower.

Well, we're (at least I) comparing FYA 4- or 5-light tower with a doghouse. My point is that arranging lights is a tower is as good(or as bad) as putting them in a doghouse, with doghouse having some advantages.

What are the advantages of a doghouse layout? There are many, many areas of the country that have never used doghouse layouts. Many use the 5-section towers exclusively. Somehow they are getting on just fine (I'd guess).

The only advantage that I can think of, with a doghouse display, is that you could have two sets of solid yellow arrows:

Top: red arrow
Top-left: solid yellow following permissive phase
Top-right: solid yellow following protected phase
Bottom-left: flashing yellow arrow
Bottom-right: solid green arrow

This might help reduce the confusion with the yellow arrow meaning either "permissive phase ending" or "protected phase ending". Alternatively, just lag all turns so that there's only one solid yellow arrow (at the very end following a green arrow to clear any waiting cars). But the idea with the FYA was to allow a mix of lead/lag and TOD phasing, so that misses the point.

As for prohibiting turns... Here in NYS red arrow means "turn prohibited". So setting up a set of 3 arrows would be an answer. DOes MUTCD allow using yellow arrow within set of 3 as FYA? 

Something like this? The FYA can occupy the middle or bottom lens, but increasingly, it occupies the middle.

Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: paulthemapguy on August 07, 2017, 04:54:33 PM
The way yellow trap has existed has not changed, and its gotten worse with all lights having sensors, adaptively skipping phases of the cycle and changing timings dynamically.

That's a fuckin fact. Just the other day, I approached a light to turn right (in a right turn lane). The signal changed from yellow to red for the street that I was turning on to. The signal then realised that I had turned right (and there was no one else approaching), so it never gave my direction a green. The street that I turned on to immediately got a green again (1 second red for them -- yes it visibly confused the drivers).

There's nothing wrong with what happened above. I'm glad that adaptive signals have taken over. They have the potential to seriously improve traffic flow. But they work a hell of a lot better when each movement has its own dedicated signal.



By the way, the diagram with the arrows in the OP is ridiculously confusing. I consider myself a traffic control expert, and I'm lost.

This wouldn't happen in Illinois, because here, the change in signal phase begins when a signal switches from green to yellow, not later.  We don't separate the yellow phase from the all-red phase and the next permissive phase of other traffic...it all happens together or not at all.  If the signal commits to all 3 phases at once, the yellow trap is eradicated.
People in the Midwest pull halfway into the intersection to turn left on a protected-permitted left turn, and trying to change that would be impossible since it's so ingrained in our culture.  You can replace the 5-section stacks or doghouses with FYA's, but you'd have to program the phases in the same sequence because of the culture here anyway.  Check out a protected-permitted signal in IL sometime, and you'll see that detector loops won't change anything about a signal's operation once the light switches to yellow--once it decides to turn yellow, nothing's going to stop it from allowing the next permissive phase.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jakeroot on August 07, 2017, 05:45:20 PM
The way yellow trap has existed has not changed, and its gotten worse with all lights having sensors, adaptively skipping phases of the cycle and changing timings dynamically.

That's a fuckin fact. Just the other day, I approached a light to turn right (in a right turn lane). The signal changed from yellow to red for the street that I was turning on to. The signal then realised that I had turned right (and there was no one else approaching), so it never gave my direction a green. The street that I turned on to immediately got a green again (1 second red for them -- yes it visibly confused the drivers).

There's nothing wrong with what happened above. I'm glad that adaptive signals have taken over. They have the potential to seriously improve traffic flow. But they work a hell of a lot better when each movement has its own dedicated signal.



By the way, the diagram with the arrows in the OP is ridiculously confusing. I consider myself a traffic control expert, and I'm lost.

This wouldn't happen in Illinois, because here, the change in signal phase begins when a signal switches from green to yellow, not later.  We don't separate the yellow phase from the all-red phase and the next permissive phase of other traffic...it all happens together or not at all.  If the signal commits to all 3 phases at once, the yellow trap is eradicated.

So basically, they aren't adaptive?

The computers at the intersection that I approached saw me, and immediately decided to give my direction a green light. So, the amber phase for the cross-street commenced, but I had already turned on red by the time the cross-street's red light came on. Rather than give my street a green, because it saw no one else approaching, it gave the cross-street a green light again. They're adaptive in the sense that they adapt to real-time information (using cameras). They have their ups and downs. My point originally was that they are sometimes too sensitive. Sometimes so sensitive that I fear they may accidentally create a yellow trap (although only in theory -- I've never actually seen this happen). I'm not even sure why right-turn lanes have sensors, since right on red is legal, and unless there's 500 cars trying to turn right, we don't need a green to complete the maneuver.

People in the Midwest pull halfway into the intersection to turn left on a protected-permitted left turn, and trying to change that would be impossible since it's so ingrained in our culture.  You can replace the 5-section stacks or doghouses with FYA's, but you'd have to program the phases in the same sequence because of the culture here anyway.  Check out a protected-permitted signal in IL sometime, and you'll see that detector loops won't change anything about a signal's operation once the light switches to yellow--once it decides to turn yellow, nothing's going to stop it from allowing the next permissive phase.

What does this have to do with what I wrote? People also wait in the intersection around here. It's not 100% of drivers, but it's more than three-quarters, I'd say.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: Mergingtraffic on August 07, 2017, 06:35:50 PM
It seems to me that they're trying to reinvent the wheel with a FYA.   Whenever there's an arrow, it means you have the right of way or your right of way is ending.

So, now we throw that logic out the window with the FYA. If you have one you don't have the right of way.  It's blurring the lines too much.

Doghouses work fine.  I'm not a fan of towers as I've been with drivers who, when they see green, even it's a left turn green arrow, they go, not realizing they can't go straight...yet.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: cjw2001 on August 07, 2017, 06:57:28 PM
I was somewhat skeptical of the benefits of the FYA.   Then we had several installed nearby.   I now get it and would never go back to the old way.   Local drivers adapted very quickly to the new system.

With a FYA there are more opportunities for permissive left turns than there were with the old system.  When traffic on the opposite side has both a green for straight and a green arrow for left turn my side can now have a flashing yellow for permissive left.   With the doghouse red light that wasn't an option and traffic couldn't turn left during that phase, even if there was no opposing through traffic present.  With the FYA that needless wait is now avoided.



Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jakeroot on August 07, 2017, 08:37:58 PM
Doghouses work fine.  I'm not a fan of towers as I've been with drivers who, when they see green, even it's a left turn green arrow, they go, not realizing they can't go straight...yet.

I think your issue is with the shared aspects, not the arrangement of the signal faces. Towers can be, and often are centered between the left through lane and the left turn lane (as I believe they are supposed to be). Doghouses can also be placed directly over the left turn lane. Centered signals are possible either way.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: UCFKnights on August 07, 2017, 08:56:53 PM
And people do forget (which was unrelated to my yellow trap statement). Thats why many areas post signs to remind people on every single 5 section tower, and even with that, I still see people forget on occasion. Just because they forget and go immediately doesn't mean there is an accident... the opposing traffic will see they forgot and just let them go to avoid the accident.
Forget, or just don't care?
I'd say forget. Generally people seem to forget on lots of smaller side streets, when they get the green ball instead of the green arrow (because they were skipped, usually due to not long enough presence to activate the green arrow, or too few cars in the turning lane for lights programmed that way), and they're used to getting the green arrow first, they accidentally go right when they get the green ball, while the cars in the other direction are also trying to go straight. Its generally a pretty slow movement so its not generally deadly, and the cars are going slow enough that someone notices and hits the brakes to let the car go. It seems to happen a lot on certain intersections around here, that is, until they switched to FYA. I haven't seen it with FYA (infact, it happened a fair amount at a few intersections without a PPLT signal, but they installed FYAs without green arrow at those, and it eliminated the problem on those as well. The people doing it usually give the I'm sorry signal if you honk at them when they realize what they did.

Also, I have never really seen an adaptively programmed signal with doghouses that skips phases for no traffic in all directions that doesn't have the yellow trap issue. The simplest way to check it is stop on the left turn sensor in the green ball direction when no other cars are around (i.e, at night), and wait for your green arrow. If you don't get a red ball in your direction before your green arrow, the intersection is subject to yellow trap, as thats what it just did in the other direction. The signal should either give the left turn arrow in both directions to prevent the yellow trap (preferred to save time), or give the side street a green ball for a few moments before giving you the green arrow. I've never seen the signals programmed "correctly" this way.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: Bitmapped on August 07, 2017, 10:10:45 PM
And people do forget (which was unrelated to my yellow trap statement). Thats why many areas post signs to remind people on every single 5 section tower, and even with that, I still see people forget on occasion. Just because they forget and go immediately doesn't mean there is an accident... the opposing traffic will see they forgot and just let them go to avoid the accident.
Forget, or just don't care?
I'd say forget. Generally people seem to forget on lots of smaller side streets, when they get the green ball instead of the green arrow (because they were skipped, usually due to not long enough presence to activate the green arrow, or too few cars in the turning lane for lights programmed that way), and they're used to getting the green arrow first, they accidentally go right when they get the green ball, while the cars in the other direction are also trying to go straight. Its generally a pretty slow movement so its not generally deadly, and the cars are going slow enough that someone notices and hits the brakes to let the car go. It seems to happen a lot on certain intersections around here, that is, until they switched to FYA. I haven't seen it with FYA (infact, it happened a fair amount at a few intersections without a PPLT signal, but they installed FYAs without green arrow at those, and it eliminated the problem on those as well. The people doing it usually give the I'm sorry signal if you honk at them when they realize what they did.

Also, I have never really seen an adaptively programmed signal with doghouses that skips phases for no traffic in all directions that doesn't have the yellow trap issue. The simplest way to check it is stop on the left turn sensor in the green ball direction when no other cars are around (i.e, at night), and wait for your green arrow. If you don't get a red ball in your direction before your green arrow, the intersection is subject to yellow trap, as thats what it just did in the other direction. The signal should either give the left turn arrow in both directions to prevent the yellow trap (preferred to save time), or give the side street a green ball for a few moments before giving you the green arrow. I've never seen the signals programmed "correctly" this way.
WVDOH generally programs signals in the way described that can cause yellow trap like this before. At most intersections, if you wait in a left turn lane with a doghouse signal long enough and there's no cross traffic calling their phase, you will get an arrow. Oncoming traffic has no way to know that your through movement still has a green. I've been stuck in the resulting yellow trap situation before.

I'm not sure if I'd want to force a red to allow the arrow to occur, but I might only allow the arrow to happen if it had been preceded by a phase that served side road traffic. That would eliminate the yellow trap. Of course, FLYA would, too.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: Brandon on August 08, 2017, 10:23:17 AM
This wouldn't happen in Illinois, because here, the change in signal phase begins when a signal switches from green to yellow, not later.  We don't separate the yellow phase from the all-red phase and the next permissive phase of other traffic...it all happens together or not at all.  If the signal commits to all 3 phases at once, the yellow trap is eradicated.

So basically, they aren't adaptive?

Adaptive, IDOT?  Surely you must be joking.  The most adaptiveness they have is either the camera detectors or the loop detectors (varies by district).  Otherwise, Dallas phasing is not found in most of the state (District 4 uses the FYAs like that around Peoria).  District 1 (Chicagoland) does not do Dallas phasing of any kind, anywhere.  If the signal is green with a protected left, the opposing direction will not have a green or green arrow of any kind.  All opposing traffic must stop and wait for the left turn to be permissive.  D1 also strongly prefers leading left turns at all times.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: kalvado on August 08, 2017, 11:36:24 AM

What are the advantages of a doghouse layout? There are many, many areas of the country that have never used doghouse layouts. Many use the 5-section towers exclusively. Somehow they are getting on just fine (I'd guess).

The only advantage that I can think of, with a doghouse display, is that you could have two sets of solid yellow arrows:

Top: red arrow
Top-left: solid yellow following permissive phase
Top-right: solid yellow following protected phase
Bottom-left: flashing yellow arrow
Bottom-right: solid green arrow

From my perspective - and this is very personal opinion - doghouse relays some information about intersection mode of operation, namely that turn lane is controlled separately. Moreover, even doghouse facing the other way relays such information. Same reason why stop and yield signs have their distinctive shape, if you will.
I am used to doghouse design, and find that useful.  But - as someone else on this forum often mentions - personal opinion emphasized. 
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jakeroot on August 08, 2017, 01:19:12 PM
This wouldn't happen in Illinois, because here, the change in signal phase begins when a signal switches from green to yellow, not later.  We don't separate the yellow phase from the all-red phase and the next permissive phase of other traffic...it all happens together or not at all.  If the signal commits to all 3 phases at once, the yellow trap is eradicated.

So basically, they aren't adaptive?

Adaptive, IDOT?  Surely you must be joking.  The most adaptiveness they have is either the camera detectors or the loop detectors (varies by district).  Otherwise, Dallas phasing is not found in most of the state (District 4 uses the FYAs like that around Peoria).  District 1 (Chicagoland) does not do Dallas phasing of any kind, anywhere.  If the signal is green with a protected left, the opposing direction will not have a green or green arrow of any kind.  All opposing traffic must stop and wait for the left turn to be permissive.  D1 also strongly prefers leading left turns at all times.

Most, if not all intersections outside of downtown (timed) areas have loop or camera detectors around here. In theory, it's nice, because the signal adapt to what they see. But sometimes they go a little wonky, as I described earlier.

What are you getting at with Dallas phasing? I'm not sure what that has to do with anything.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jakeroot on August 08, 2017, 01:25:45 PM
What are the advantages of a doghouse layout? There are many, many areas of the country that have never used doghouse layouts. Many use the 5-section towers exclusively. Somehow they are getting on just fine (I'd guess).

From my perspective - and this is very personal opinion - doghouse relays some information about intersection mode of operation, namely that turn lane is controlled separately. Moreover, even doghouse facing the other way relays such information.

Seeing a doghouse or tower intersection from a way's away certainly relays to drivers that their left turn at that intersection is likely to be permissive (I've seen split phasing with 5-section signals). But I'm not sure how that would be advantageous to the driver. I understand that you are used to the doghouse. I am also very used to the doghouse (although 4- and 5-section PPLT displays are far from uncommon here), but short of being able to tell whether or not my left turn will be made permissively (from a distance), I've never found doghouses to be particularly helpful. I generally don't consider my "possible actions" at the next intersection until I'm actually there.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: kalvado on August 08, 2017, 01:39:55 PM
What are the advantages of a doghouse layout? There are many, many areas of the country that have never used doghouse layouts. Many use the 5-section towers exclusively. Somehow they are getting on just fine (I'd guess).

From my perspective - and this is very personal opinion - doghouse relays some information about intersection mode of operation, namely that turn lane is controlled separately. Moreover, even doghouse facing the other way relays such information.

Seeing a doghouse or tower intersection from a way's away certainly relays to drivers that their left turn at that intersection is likely to be permissive (I've seen split phasing with 5-section signals). But I'm not sure how that would be advantageous to the driver. I understand that you are used to the doghouse. I am also very used to the doghouse (although 4- and 5-section PPLT displays are far from uncommon here), but short of being able to tell whether or not my left turn will be made permissively (from a distance), I've never found doghouses to be particularly helpful. I generally don't consider my "possible actions" at the next intersection until I'm actually there.
Well.. Maybe somewhat irrelevant example since FYA is was not involved (although would be a good spot, IMHO) was on one of local intersections, where doghouse was replaced with 4-section with green arrow - which came up in the end of the cycle. There are 2 lanes (straight through and dedicated left turn) - there were 2 towers, 3 and 4 (+green arrow)); 1 tower per lane. Those replaces ol'good doghouse for left turn.
Now what you do when you see a  traffic  light installed to match your lane  turning green?.... TO my defense, I saw quite a few other people getting caught with same mistake on that spot. Didn't see any crashes, though -  but light was reprogrammed to move protected turn to the beginning of the green phase. Something that wouldn't happen with a doghouse.
Just to illustrate how doghouse can help by just being there.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: Brandon on August 08, 2017, 01:54:56 PM
Seeing a doghouse or tower intersection from a way's away certainly relays to drivers that their left turn at that intersection is likely to be permissive (I've seen split phasing with 5-section signals). But I'm not sure how that would be advantageous to the driver. I understand that you are used to the doghouse. I am also very used to the doghouse (although 4- and 5-section PPLT displays are far from uncommon here), but short of being able to tell whether or not my left turn will be made permissively (from a distance), I've never found doghouses to be particularly helpful. I generally don't consider my "possible actions" at the next intersection until I'm actually there.

Here's your exceptions courtesy of the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT):

https://goo.gl/maps/AEJVJBo2hHB2
https://goo.gl/maps/B5dC93oZeXs
https://goo.gl/maps/5q3RRrniVqN2
https://goo.gl/maps/Z2VSrhJAejS2
https://goo.gl/maps/SNvFLdT6xUJ2
https://goo.gl/maps/xP4onP3utwq
https://goo.gl/maps/bKBT3qLUmD52

CDOT, needless to say, doesn't always follow the MUTCD.  It wasn't sent.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: tradephoric on August 08, 2017, 03:03:38 PM
With a FYA there are more opportunities for permissive left turns than there were with the old system.  When traffic on the opposite side has both a green for straight and a green arrow for left turn my side can now have a flashing yellow for permissive left.   With the doghouse red light that wasn't an option and traffic couldn't turn left during that phase, even if there was no opposing through traffic present.  With the FYA that needless wait is now avoided.

The scenario you are describing is when the FYA is on while the adjacent through is still red.  This is an aggressive setup that attempts to squeeze out every last ounce of capacity.  But it adds very little increased capacity for leading left setups and creates a perceived yellow trap in lagging left setups (and perception is reality.. if a driver believes their left turn phase is ending it’s just as dangerous as an actual yellow trap).  It’s confusing to see the left turn arrow flashing yellow when the adjacent through is still red and many agencies refuse to operate the FYA in this manner.  In addition, many agencies favor leading left operation to prevent the perceived yellow trap situation altogether.  If they do run lagging lefts, they tie the left turns together to ensure that they start and end simultaneously.

One other point.  There is a scenario where a FYA will still lead to a yellow trap.  It occurs when you have a lagging left FYA with a left turn case sign in the opposing direction.  If there is a FYA/left turn case sign combination, then the FYA must be leading or a yellow trap will be introduced.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jakeroot on August 08, 2017, 03:23:07 PM
Seeing a doghouse or tower intersection from a way's away certainly relays to drivers that their left turn at that intersection is likely to be permissive (I've seen split phasing with 5-section signals). But I'm not sure how that would be advantageous to the driver. I understand that you are used to the doghouse. I am also very used to the doghouse (although 4- and 5-section PPLT displays are far from uncommon here), but short of being able to tell whether or not my left turn will be made permissively (from a distance), I've never found doghouses to be particularly helpful. I generally don't consider my "possible actions" at the next intersection until I'm actually there.

Here's your exceptions courtesy of the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT):
...
CDOT, needless to say, doesn't always follow the MUTCD.  It wasn't sent.

Chicago....WHY!?

If I know Chicago drivers, some of them probably ignore the signage, right? I'd certainly be tempted to.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: Brandon on August 08, 2017, 03:29:10 PM
Seeing a doghouse or tower intersection from a way's away certainly relays to drivers that their left turn at that intersection is likely to be permissive (I've seen split phasing with 5-section signals). But I'm not sure how that would be advantageous to the driver. I understand that you are used to the doghouse. I am also very used to the doghouse (although 4- and 5-section PPLT displays are far from uncommon here), but short of being able to tell whether or not my left turn will be made permissively (from a distance), I've never found doghouses to be particularly helpful. I generally don't consider my "possible actions" at the next intersection until I'm actually there.

Here's your exceptions courtesy of the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT):
...
CDOT, needless to say, doesn't always follow the MUTCD.  It wasn't sent.

Chicago....WHY!?

If I know Chicago drivers, some of them probably ignore the signage, right? I'd certainly be tempted to.

It's Chicago, of course they do.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jakeroot on August 08, 2017, 03:36:54 PM
Seeing a doghouse or tower intersection from a way's away certainly relays to drivers that their left turn at that intersection is likely to be permissive (I've seen split phasing with 5-section signals). But I'm not sure how that would be advantageous to the driver. I understand that you are used to the doghouse. I am also very used to the doghouse (although 4- and 5-section PPLT displays are far from uncommon here), but short of being able to tell whether or not my left turn will be made permissively (from a distance), I've never found doghouses to be particularly helpful. I generally don't consider my "possible actions" at the next intersection until I'm actually there.

Here's your exceptions courtesy of the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT):
...
CDOT, needless to say, doesn't always follow the MUTCD.  It wasn't sent.

Chicago....WHY!?

If I know Chicago drivers, some of them probably ignore the signage, right? I'd certainly be tempted to.

It's Chicago, of course they do.

Good for them. Fuck the man! I bet you'd get any ticket tossed easily.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: UCFKnights on August 08, 2017, 04:21:48 PM
With a FYA there are more opportunities for permissive left turns than there were with the old system.  When traffic on the opposite side has both a green for straight and a green arrow for left turn my side can now have a flashing yellow for permissive left.   With the doghouse red light that wasn't an option and traffic couldn't turn left during that phase, even if there was no opposing through traffic present.  With the FYA that needless wait is now avoided.

The scenario you are describing is when the FYA is on while the adjacent through is still red.  This is an aggressive setup that attempts to squeeze out every last ounce of capacity.  But it adds very little increased capacity for leading left setups and creates a perceived yellow trap in lagging left setups (and perception is reality.. if a driver believes their left turn phase is ending it’s just as dangerous as an actual yellow trap).  It’s confusing to see the left turn arrow flashing yellow when the adjacent through is still red and many agencies refuse to operate the FYA in this manner.  In addition, many agencies favor leading left operation to prevent the perceived yellow trap situation altogether.  If they do run lagging lefts, they tie the left turns together to ensure that they start and end simultaneously.

One other point.  There is a scenario where a FYA will still lead to a yellow trap.  It occurs when you have a lagging left FYA with a left turn case sign in the opposing direction.  If there is a FYA/left turn case sign combination, then the FYA must be leading or a yellow trap will be introduced.
The correct programming of a lagging left is to go straight from FYA to a green arrow. If the FYA is going to solid yellow and red before going to the solid green, the signal is programmed wrong. If the signal is programmed correctly, the perceived yellow trap should not occur.
Quote
From my perspective - and this is very personal opinion - doghouse relays some information about intersection mode of operation, namely that turn lane is controlled separately. Moreover, even doghouse facing the other way relays such information. Same reason why stop and yield signs have their distinctive shape, if you will.
I am used to doghouse design, and find that useful.  But - as someone else on this forum often mentions - personal opinion emphasized.
One of the big reasons I'm a huge fan of the FYA is it encourages 1 signal per lane. I'm a firm believer that the "best" (obviously my personal opinion) method is to allow signals to very clearly indicate the permitted directions of the lane, as the markings painted on the road are often covered by other cars and are often faded without being fixed for extremely long times. I'd like to see the FYA replace the right turn doghouses as well. Doghouses should be relegated to shared use lanes. Then nearly every lane configuration will be clear on green by what its signal has displayed. And for the most part, it will be fairly obvious on red with the same information (just not illuminated multiple movements per lane).
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jakeroot on August 08, 2017, 05:12:50 PM
This is an aggressive setup that attempts to squeeze out every last ounce of capacity.  But it adds very little increased capacity for leading left setups and creates a perceived yellow trap in lagging left setups (and perception is reality.. if a driver believes their left turn phase is ending it’s just as dangerous as an actual yellow trap).  It’s confusing to see the left turn arrow flashing yellow when the adjacent through is still red and many agencies refuse to operate the FYA in this manner.  In addition, many agencies favor leading left operation to prevent the perceived yellow trap situation altogether.  If they do run lagging lefts, they tie the left turns together to ensure that they start and end simultaneously.

Total bollocks. There are FYAs in nearly all jurisdictions within 400 miles of me , yet not a single one (AFAIK) operates FYAs in this manner, probably because it doesn't make any sense. Some do have odd quirks:

- protected-only based on time of day (although increasingly normal)
- longer all-red phases between the protected and permissive phase (though some have none, such as many left turns in Seattle)
- red while pedestrian has walk sign

...but none have any sort of through/left synchronization. That completely ruins the whole point of the FYA. I understand the perception, but I think in reality, this has more to do with poor signal placement, where drivers can only see the left turn signal in their upper peripheral vision. Federal Way, WA (an agency near me that I have brought up just about a thousand times before) uses lead/lag or lagging at almost every intersection. They also go protected-only during parts of the day. Needless to say, they are using the FYA to the fullest extent possible. Yet not a single shred of data that I've ever read, in regards to FYA performance in the city, suggests in increase due to perceived yellow trap. There's not a lot of publicly available data, but one the PDFs from several years ago suggests that FYAs seem to work better when there's secondary/auxiliary signals (PDF page 14 (https://goo.gl/ZBVSaJ)). Also, that safety performance improves dramatically after the first year.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: 7/8 on August 08, 2017, 07:31:27 PM
I was somewhat skeptical of the benefits of the FYA.   Then we had several installed nearby.   I now get it and would never go back to the old way.   Local drivers adapted very quickly to the new system.

With a FYA there are more opportunities for permissive left turns than there were with the old system.  When traffic on the opposite side has both a green for straight and a green arrow for left turn my side can now have a flashing yellow for permissive left.   With the doghouse red light that wasn't an option and traffic couldn't turn left during that phase, even if there was no opposing through traffic present.  With the FYA that needless wait is now avoided.

This is the main reason why I would like the FYA to be introduced in Ontario. We don't need it to solve yellow traps, since Ontario only allows lagging lefts if there's no opposing left turn. But it would be nice to be able to make a left turn in the situation you describe.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: tradephoric on August 08, 2017, 08:11:41 PM
The correct programming of a lagging left is to go straight from FYA to a green arrow. If the FYA is going to solid yellow and red before going to the solid green, the signal is programmed wrong. If the signal is programmed correctly, the perceived yellow trap should not occur.

An example of a perceived yellow trap can be seen at 0:39 in this video.  Drivers in the left turn lane who see the adjacent signal heads change to yellow automatically assume the opposing through direction is changing to yellow at the same time.  Before the FYA came into existence, this assumption was almost always correct (because if the opposing thru wasn't changing to yellow simultaneously, it would lead to a yellow trap) .  But now drivers have to realize that the opposing thru may still have a green light when the adjacent thru changes to yellow. 


Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jakeroot on August 08, 2017, 08:44:25 PM
^^
Trade, unless you intend to provide some hard evidence that this perceived yellow trap is an actual issue, your point is moot.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: ilpt4u on August 08, 2017, 09:06:30 PM
I was somewhat skeptical of the benefits of the FYA.   Then we had several installed nearby.   I now get it and would never go back to the old way.   Local drivers adapted very quickly to the new system.

With a FYA there are more opportunities for permissive left turns than there were with the old system.  When traffic on the opposite side has both a green for straight and a green arrow for left turn my side can now have a flashing yellow for permissive left.   With the doghouse red light that wasn't an option and traffic couldn't turn left during that phase, even if there was no opposing through traffic present.  With the FYA that needless wait is now avoided.
So basically, FYA makes Left on Red legal?

Why not just make Left on Red legal then? Why do we need new stoplights?

If there is no opposing traffic, why wait at a stoplight, going Straight or Left?

Heck, lets make Straight on Red legal!
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: 7/8 on August 08, 2017, 09:08:02 PM
I was somewhat skeptical of the benefits of the FYA.   Then we had several installed nearby.   I now get it and would never go back to the old way.   Local drivers adapted very quickly to the new system.

With a FYA there are more opportunities for permissive left turns than there were with the old system.  When traffic on the opposite side has both a green for straight and a green arrow for left turn my side can now have a flashing yellow for permissive left.   With the doghouse red light that wasn't an option and traffic couldn't turn left during that phase, even if there was no opposing through traffic present.  With the FYA that needless wait is now avoided.
So basically, FYA makes Left on Red legal?

Why not just make Left on Red legal then? Why do we need new stoplights?

There's a big difference between making a left when oncoming traffic has a green+arrow vs the side street having a green...
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: ilpt4u on August 08, 2017, 09:10:15 PM
I was somewhat skeptical of the benefits of the FYA.   Then we had several installed nearby.   I now get it and would never go back to the old way.   Local drivers adapted very quickly to the new system.

With a FYA there are more opportunities for permissive left turns than there were with the old system.  When traffic on the opposite side has both a green for straight and a green arrow for left turn my side can now have a flashing yellow for permissive left.   With the doghouse red light that wasn't an option and traffic couldn't turn left during that phase, even if there was no opposing through traffic present.  With the FYA that needless wait is now avoided.
So basically, FYA makes Left on Red legal?

Why not just make Left on Red legal then? Why do we need new stoplights?

There's a big difference between making a left when oncoming traffic has a green+arrow vs the side street having a green...
Not really -- depends how much oncoming traffic is coming, and how much cross traffic there is, while your light is red. It might actually be safer, depending on the street, with the cross street having the green, for the Left on Red

But the justification is, if there is no opposing traffic

If there is no opposing traffic, whether oncoming or cross, why stop anyway? Isn't that the point of stoplights?
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 08, 2017, 09:14:11 PM
The correct programming of a lagging left is to go straight from FYA to a green arrow. If the FYA is going to solid yellow and red before going to the solid green, the signal is programmed wrong. If the signal is programmed correctly, the perceived yellow trap should not occur.

An example of a perceived yellow trap can be seen at 0:39 in this video.  Drivers in the left turn lane who see the adjacent signal heads change to yellow automatically assume the opposing through direction is changing to yellow at the same time.  Before the FYA came into existence, this assumption was almost always correct (because if the opposing thru wasn't changing to yellow simultaneously, it would lead to a yellow trap) .  But now drivers have to realize that the opposing thru may still have a green light when the adjacent thru changes to yellow. 




That's not a yellow trap. Which you know, because you said it's a 'perceived' yellow trap.

The intersection probably would've been better off as a roundabout anyway.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: tradephoric on August 08, 2017, 10:21:18 PM
^^
Trade, unless you intend to provide some hard evidence that this perceived yellow trap is an actual issue, your point is moot.

The TRB contains literature that discusses the "perceived" yellow trap at FYA:

Quote
Methods for Operation and Detection of the Flashing Yellow Arrow Display:  The Flashing Yellow Arrow (FYA) display is a form of protected-permitted left-turn phasing (PPLT) approved in 2006 by the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and is anticipated for inclusion in the next release of the MUTCD. The FYA display eliminates the yellow trap, allows lead-lag phasing with PPLT, and allows time of day selection of protected-only or permitted-only phasing. This paper describes operational and efficiency benefits of the Flashing Yellow Arrow display and how they are achieved by selection of phasing, timing elements, and modified detection methods. In addition, the paper will describe some lessons learned that will be valuable for other engineers who are contemplating or just starting to use the FYA. The question then becomes how the traffic engineer should utilize the power and flexibility of the FYA display and when to exercise restraint. The real power of the FYA becomes available when the engineer starts to break away from “leading lefts only” phasing typically required by traditional PPLT. This paper will discuss different phasing options with the FYA and the pluses and minuses of each in terms of what existing problems they might solve or mitigate. Along with this will be a discussion of detection strategies from simple to complex that can greatly improve the efficiency of the FYA. Finally, there will be a description of a “perceived” yellow trap that can occur in some circumstances with the FYA and how to recognize when it may be a problem.

https://trid.trb.org/view.aspx?id=921218

Beyond that there are agencies that prefer leading lefts over lagging lefts at FYA.  They cite the "perceived yellow trap" issue in their reasoning.  Here’s a snippet from a webinar by the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium about whether or not the FYA solves the yellow trap:

Quote
Q: What degree does the FYA solve the “yellow trap” problem. And does Washington County lead the protected interval at FYA or lead/lag to benefit coordination?

A: The FYA completely solves the yellow trap problem, because now the left turn lane has its own display.  There is still the potential of the “perceived yellow trap” which is when the driver in the left lane sees the adjacent through go solid yellow and thinks that the FYA is also ending.  It is called perceived, because the driver should focus on their own lane’s signal control. Washington County prefers to lead the protected interval at FYA so if the protected left isn’t needed then it can be skipped.  In a coordinated system we will lead or lag whichever benefits the coordination. (SS)

You can still skip a protected left turn at a lagging FYA but it sounds like Washington County chooses not to do that.  They don't want to introduce the perceived yellow trap, so presumably they tie the lagging left turns together to run simultaneously.  Jake, don't you live near Washington County, Oregon?  You tell me how the lagging left installations run there and if any perceived yellow traps exist.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jakeroot on August 08, 2017, 10:44:00 PM
Okay, so some research boards recognise the existence of the "perceived" yellow trap. I think you and the rest of us do as well. But is it an actual problem?

You can still skip a protected left turn at a lagging FYA but it sounds like Washington County chooses not to do that.  They don't want to introduce the perceived yellow trap, so presumably they tie the lagging left turns together to run simultaneously.  Jake, don't you live near Washington County, Oregon?  You tell me how the lagging left installations run there and if any perceived yellow traps exist.

I have seen lead/lag in the Portland area but I cannot remember where. I've only been there twice in the last five years. I'd be more likely to remember if lead/lag were uncommon where I live, but it's not. But, I would remember an installation that has an FYA that's tied to the through lane (an installation where the permissive phase starts only with the through lane). That I am certain I have not seen.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: UCFKnights on August 08, 2017, 11:05:00 PM
The correct programming of a lagging left is to go straight from FYA to a green arrow. If the FYA is going to solid yellow and red before going to the solid green, the signal is programmed wrong. If the signal is programmed correctly, the perceived yellow trap should not occur.

An example of a perceived yellow trap can be seen at 0:39 in this video.  Drivers in the left turn lane who see the adjacent signal heads change to yellow automatically assume the opposing through direction is changing to yellow at the same time.  Before the FYA came into existence, this assumption was almost always correct (because if the opposing thru wasn't changing to yellow simultaneously, it would lead to a yellow trap) .  But now drivers have to realize that the opposing thru may still have a green light when the adjacent thru changes to yellow. 

I guess I understand what you're saying, but the entire point of the FYA is so it is the only signal you look at for making your left turn. Again, that is why I really want to see a total movement to a signal per lane system to further reinforce that point. The only reason people are looking at the thru signals is because they're used to the previous permissive setup with a green ball without a red arrow indicating the permissive turn. It would seem that new drivers who don't encounter the old permissive signals would not be used to looking at the thru signal to determine if they can turn, so its a driver experience/dealing with change problem that should fade with time. And regardless, the same signal setup without the FYA would result in an actual yellow trap, which is far worse then a possible perceived one. The fact the left turn signal hasn't changed should make them at least hesitate about going on the thru yellow, which is why I think this isn't really a real problem.

BTW what is a "left turn case sign"? I've never heard that before
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: 7/8 on August 08, 2017, 11:41:51 PM
I was somewhat skeptical of the benefits of the FYA.   Then we had several installed nearby.   I now get it and would never go back to the old way.   Local drivers adapted very quickly to the new system.

With a FYA there are more opportunities for permissive left turns than there were with the old system.  When traffic on the opposite side has both a green for straight and a green arrow for left turn my side can now have a flashing yellow for permissive left.   With the doghouse red light that wasn't an option and traffic couldn't turn left during that phase, even if there was no opposing through traffic present.  With the FYA that needless wait is now avoided.
So basically, FYA makes Left on Red legal?

Why not just make Left on Red legal then? Why do we need new stoplights?

There's a big difference between making a left when oncoming traffic has a green+arrow vs the side street having a green...
Not really -- depends how much oncoming traffic is coming, and how much cross traffic there is, while your light is red. It might actually be safer, depending on the street, with the cross street having the green, for the Left on Red

But the justification is, if there is no opposing traffic

If there is no opposing traffic, whether oncoming or cross, why stop anyway? Isn't that the point of stoplights?

In the scenario that cjw2001 outlined, to make the permissive left, you only have to yield to cars going straight or right from the opposing direction and pedestrians on the left. This is the same as a regular permissive left at a green light, so I have a hard time seeing how this is anymore dangerous than that (assuming there's an FYA, so people know what you're doing).

But doing a left from a red light when cross traffic has the green has many more potential conflicts and it confuses the drivers around you. Theoretically, if no one's around, then it's safe, but it's better to keep it illegal at all times since it's generally a more dangerous manoeuvre than a permissive left turn.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: ilpt4u on August 09, 2017, 12:52:25 AM
Maybe its just my learned driving habits, but a Permissive Left Turn phase should coincide with your "Thru" traffic having a Green Signal for the straight movement

There is no way it is safer for Left Turners than it is for Straight/Through traffic in this situation (if the Opposing direction has Protected Green Left Turn combined with Green for Straight/Through traffic.) At worst, it should be "Flashing Yellow" for Left Turning AND Straight/Through Traffic

It is pretty easy to dream up a scenario where Oncoming/Opposing Traffic has a Green Ball with Green Left Arrow, and there is traffic going straight but not turning. Why shouldn't the "Other" direction's straight movement have a "Permissive" Straight movement with a Flashing Yellow Ball, if Left Turning movement can have a "Permissive" Left movement with a Flashing Yellow Arrow

I'm looking for consistency here
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: UCFKnights on August 09, 2017, 05:52:54 AM
Maybe its just my learned driving habits, but a Permissive Left Turn phase should coincide with your "Thru" traffic having a Green Signal for the straight movement

There is no way it is safer for Left Turners than it is for Straight/Through traffic in this situation (if the Opposing direction has Protected Green Left Turn combined with Green for Straight/Through traffic.) At worst, it should be "Flashing Yellow" for Left Turning AND Straight/Through Traffic

It is pretty easy to dream up a scenario where Oncoming/Opposing Traffic has a Green Ball with Green Left Arrow, and there is traffic going straight but not turning. Why shouldn't the "Other" direction's straight movement have a "Permissive" Straight movement with a Flashing Yellow Ball, if Left Turning movement can have a "Permissive" Left movement with a Flashing Yellow Arrow

I'm looking for consistency here
Its important to remember that any flashing yellow signal ultimately means proceed using the rules of the road as if there was no signal here (but with caution). A yellow flashing ball would seem to have priority for those approaching it over the green arrow (that they can't see), as its not the normal rule of the road.

Another benefit of having the FYA display alongside a red ball is it introduces familiarity of this necessary situation to avoid yellow trap in some scenarios. And getting drivers familiar with that display seems it would reduce the risk of a "perceived yellow trap"
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: kalvado on August 09, 2017, 08:33:48 AM

Its important to remember that any flashing yellow signal ultimately means proceed using the rules of the road as if there was no signal here (but with caution). A yellow flashing ball would seem to have priority for those approaching it over the green arrow (that they can't see), as its not the normal rule of the road.
Quite interesting interpretation, makes a quite a bit of sense. Does not address traffic on perpendicular road, though.
Is that spelled out in MUTCD, or that is your own wording? 
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 09, 2017, 08:56:06 AM
Maybe its just my learned driving habits, but a Permissive Left Turn phase should coincide with your "Thru" traffic having a Green Signal for the straight movement

There is no way it is safer for Left Turners than it is for Straight/Through traffic in this situation (if the Opposing direction has Protected Green Left Turn combined with Green for Straight/Through traffic.) At worst, it should be "Flashing Yellow" for Left Turning AND Straight/Through Traffic

It is pretty easy to dream up a scenario where Oncoming/Opposing Traffic has a Green Ball with Green Left Arrow, and there is traffic going straight but not turning. Why shouldn't the "Other" direction's straight movement have a "Permissive" Straight movement with a Flashing Yellow Ball, if Left Turning movement can have a "Permissive" Left movement with a Flashing Yellow Arrow

I'm looking for consistency here
Its important to remember that any flashing yellow signal ultimately means proceed using the rules of the road as if there was no signal here (but with caution). A yellow flashing ball would seem to have priority for those approaching it over the green arrow (that they can't see), as its not the normal rule of the road.

Since when and in what universe does a yellow traffic signal have any priority over a green traffic signal???  A good traffic light setup doesn't allow you to see what the other directions have anyway.  You're not supposed to approach a signal and decide what you want to do based on the colors of the other directions.

For what it's worth, here's the 'normal' law: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.076.html

I'm not sure what you mean by normal laws and not normal laws.  I guess traffic light colors fall under not normal laws to you, and red, yellow and green don't mean anything?

Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: kalvado on August 09, 2017, 09:07:51 AM
Maybe its just my learned driving habits, but a Permissive Left Turn phase should coincide with your "Thru" traffic having a Green Signal for the straight movement

There is no way it is safer for Left Turners than it is for Straight/Through traffic in this situation (if the Opposing direction has Protected Green Left Turn combined with Green for Straight/Through traffic.) At worst, it should be "Flashing Yellow" for Left Turning AND Straight/Through Traffic

It is pretty easy to dream up a scenario where Oncoming/Opposing Traffic has a Green Ball with Green Left Arrow, and there is traffic going straight but not turning. Why shouldn't the "Other" direction's straight movement have a "Permissive" Straight movement with a Flashing Yellow Ball, if Left Turning movement can have a "Permissive" Left movement with a Flashing Yellow Arrow

I'm looking for consistency here
Its important to remember that any flashing yellow signal ultimately means proceed using the rules of the road as if there was no signal here (but with caution). A yellow flashing ball would seem to have priority for those approaching it over the green arrow (that they can't see), as its not the normal rule of the road.

Since when and in what universe does a yellow traffic signal have any priority over a green traffic signal???  A good traffic light setup doesn't allow you to see what the other directions have anyway.  You're not supposed to approach a signal and decide what you want to do based on the colors of the other directions.

For what it's worth, here's the 'normal' law: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.076.html

I'm not sure what you mean by normal laws and not normal laws.  I guess traffic light colors fall under not normal laws to you, and red, yellow and green don't mean anything?

Looks like issue is with meaning of flashing yellow.
Solid green for northbound +FYA for southbound is a meaningful combination, southbound left turn yields, northbound straight has right of way.
Flashing yellow ball for northbound + green arrow for southbound is NOT a meaningful combination since it grants right of way to two conflicting moves.

It may be important to send the message to each and every driver that flashing yellow has somewhat different meaning for an arrow and a ball....
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 09, 2017, 09:32:53 AM
Yellow doesn't grant right of way.  Yellow is caution.

If the yellow is steady, it means that the light is about to turn red, and it cautions you to slow down if you have enough time to stop.

If the yellow is a flashing yellow arrow, it means about the same as a yield sign: You can make the left turn if safe to do so, but if not you have to stop and wait.  A flashing yellow arrow has never been construed to allow someone to fly thru an intersection without care of other traffic.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: UCFKnights on August 09, 2017, 09:49:11 AM
Maybe its just my learned driving habits, but a Permissive Left Turn phase should coincide with your "Thru" traffic having a Green Signal for the straight movement

There is no way it is safer for Left Turners than it is for Straight/Through traffic in this situation (if the Opposing direction has Protected Green Left Turn combined with Green for Straight/Through traffic.) At worst, it should be "Flashing Yellow" for Left Turning AND Straight/Through Traffic

It is pretty easy to dream up a scenario where Oncoming/Opposing Traffic has a Green Ball with Green Left Arrow, and there is traffic going straight but not turning. Why shouldn't the "Other" direction's straight movement have a "Permissive" Straight movement with a Flashing Yellow Ball, if Left Turning movement can have a "Permissive" Left movement with a Flashing Yellow Arrow

I'm looking for consistency here
Its important to remember that any flashing yellow signal ultimately means proceed using the rules of the road as if there was no signal here (but with caution). A yellow flashing ball would seem to have priority for those approaching it over the green arrow (that they can't see), as its not the normal rule of the road.

Since when and in what universe does a yellow traffic signal have any priority over a green traffic signal???  A good traffic light setup doesn't allow you to see what the other directions have anyway.  You're not supposed to approach a signal and decide what you want to do based on the colors of the other directions.

For what it's worth, here's the 'normal' law: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.076.html

I'm not sure what you mean by normal laws and not normal laws.  I guess traffic light colors fall under not normal laws to you, and red, yellow and green don't mean anything?
Again, I don't know what your talking about. It seems your simply not reading my posts and then calling me crazy. The post I replied to asked about a flashing yellow ball and why can't we have that opposing a green arrow. I replied explaining why that wouldn't make sense. The perception of the driver of the flashing yellow ball is that nobody else is going to have a green signal to go in front of them. Someone else who has a flashing yellow signal and is turning in front of them would be expected to yield to those going straight, just as if there was no signal. Traffic from the side streets is expected to have a flashing red signal, and be the lowest priority of them all. We don't have a flashing yellow ball in one direction and have the perpendicular street having a green ball for this reason. The flashing yellow would assume they have priority over the green ball as they DON'T KNOW the other direction has a green ball, and those facing the green ball would assume they have priority over the yellow ball, but even that is unclear.

The Florida statute you linked to is completely consistent with what I said. The only modifier from the normal traffic rules of a flashing yellow light is "with caution".

Quote from: kalvado
Quite interesting interpretation, makes a quite a bit of sense. Does not address traffic on perpendicular road, though.
Is that spelled out in MUTCD, or that is your own wording?
A perpendicular road shouldn't be presented with any signal that isn't colored red (whether flashing or solid) when there is any green or yellow (whether solid or flashing) for the original road.
And yes, thats my own wording.

Quote from: kalvado
Looks like issue is with meaning of flashing yellow.
Solid green for northbound +FYA for southbound is a meaningful combination, southbound left turn yields, northbound straight has right of way.
Flashing yellow ball for northbound + green arrow for southbound is NOT a meaningful combination since it grants right of way to two conflicting moves.
Yes,that combination would be equivalent to have a flashing yellow ball for northbound, southbound, eastbound, AND westbound at the same time. Because it appears to be a controlled intersection, but its entirely uncontrolled. Only part I would disagree with is the word "grants" because the yellow signal technically does not do that, the ONLY meaning of it is "use caution"

Quote
It may be important to send the message to each and every driver that flashing yellow has somewhat different meaning for an arrow and a ball....
It doesn't though. Here's the "consistent" way to think of the signals:
Solid red: Stop and wait for signal to change (unless a specific law grants proceeding on red after stop, which varies by state)
Flashing red: Treat as a stop sign
Solid yellow: The previous indication is ending and a new one will soon appear, that likely requires you to stop.
Flashing yellow: Use caution. Follow all laws and rules on proceeding through the intersection as you don't have any traffic control device changing any meaning for you.
Green: Proceed after yielding to anything already in the intersection. You have the "protected" right of way for entering the intersection.

The arrow modified the signal to become more specific then the ball, so if an arrow indication faces in your direction, you should follow that over any ball. Just as if there is a bus signal sign and you are operating a bus in a bus lane, you should follow that over any other signal.

Its extremely consistent. Infact, the only real inconsistency is on the solid GREEN BALL, which really has the meaning of a straight green arrow, as right turns have to yield to pedestrians/bikes and left turns have to yield to both pedestrians/bikes and oncoming traffic.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: 1 on August 09, 2017, 10:07:00 AM
Yellow doesn't grant right of way.  Yellow is caution.

If the yellow is steady, it means that the light is about to turn red, and it cautions you to slow down if you have enough time to stop.

If the yellow is a flashing yellow arrow, it means about the same as a yield sign: You can make the left turn if safe to do so, but if not you have to stop and wait.  A flashing yellow arrow has never been construed to allow someone to fly thru an intersection without care of other traffic.

A flashing yellow does grant right of way if going straight, as the cross street always has a flashing red.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 09, 2017, 10:07:45 AM
A perpendicular road shouldn't be presented with any signal that isn't colored red (whether flashing or solid) when there is any green or yellow (whether solid or flashing) for the original road.
And yes, thats my own wording.

A green left arrow on one road also permits for a green right arrow on a perpendicular road.  This is a very normal signal function.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: kalvado on August 09, 2017, 10:09:09 AM

It doesn't though. Here's the "consistent" way to think of the signals:
Solid red: Stop and wait for signal to change (unless a specific law grants proceeding on red after stop, which varies by state)
Flashing red: Treat as a stop sign
Solid yellow: The previous indication is ending and a new one will soon appear, that likely requires you to stop.
Flashing yellow: Use caution. Follow all laws and rules on proceeding through the intersection as you don't have any traffic control device changing any meaning for you.
Green: Proceed after yielding to anything already in the intersection. You have the "protected" right of way for entering the intersection.

Yellow doesn't grant right of way.  Yellow is caution.

If the yellow is steady, it means that the light is about to turn red, and it cautions you to slow down if you have enough time to stop.

If the yellow is a flashing yellow arrow, it means about the same as a yield sign: You can make the left turn if safe to do so, but if not you have to stop and wait.  A flashing yellow arrow has never been construed to allow someone to fly thru an intersection without care of other traffic.
Well, maybe I am stupid - but what does "use caution" means in terms of operating vehicle? Speed, acceleration? I thought driver is always supposed to take reasonable precautions in order to avoid accidents, even if it would be someone's else fault, right?
The way someone explained flashing yellow ball to me many moons ago - and yes, that is not the letter, but the spirit of the law:
"flashing yellow for you means flashing red = stop for perpendicular direction. You go they wait". Which is, pretty much, right of way. Same as with stop signs on perpendicular road - where I can see the shape of the sign, and get same message.

Now what I don't like is that flashing colors have no permanent meaning. (Solid red also has some discrepancies, BTW).
Flashing red means a stop - except for flashing red at a rail crossing, where it means almost the same as red ball.  Then flashing yellow means I may go and have my priority - except when this is an arrow....
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: roadman on August 09, 2017, 10:22:37 AM
As I understand it, the whole reason the flashing yellow arrow (FYA) came into existence is because apparently drivers have become so dumb that they no longer understand that, when taking a left turn on a green ball, it is your responsibility to YIELD to oncoming traffic.

So, and meaning no disrespect to the legions of people who developed, studied, and evaluated the FYA BEFORE having it adopted as a MUTCD standard, instead of conducting campaigns to re-educate drivers about the meaning of a green ball and how you are supposed to take left turns when facing one, we have developed an entirely new signal indication that is not at all intuitive, and has required state and local agencies to conduct campaigns to educate drivers about the meaning of the FYA and how you are supposed to take a left turn when facing one.

FWIW, about a month ago I encountered my first FYA as a driver - it's by the building with my cardiologist's office.  Apart from the fact that the FYA is first activated when opposing traffic still has a red ball (and does for about 30 seconds afterwards), I was so fixated on looking for a gap, I almost failed to notice the signal change to a green arrow - which also tells me that perhaps FYA is useless at this location, at least may not be an appropriate indication during certain times of day.  I'll also note that, this location was not a retrofit, but an entirely new signal and controller installation.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: kalvado on August 09, 2017, 10:31:07 AM
As I see it, the whole reason the flashing yellow came into existence is because apparently drivers have become so dumb that they no longer understand that, when taking a left turn on a green ball, it is your responsibility to YIELD to oncoming traffic.

So, and meaning no disrespect to the legions of people who developed, studied, and evaluated the FYA BEFORE having it adopted as a MUTCD standard, instead of conducting campaigns to re-educate drivers about the meaning of a green ball and how you are supposed to take left turns when facing one, we have developed an entirely new signal indication that is not at all intuitive, and has required state and local agencies to conduct campaigns to educate drivers about the meaning of the FYA and how you are supposed to take a left turn when facing one.

FWIW, about a month ago I encountered my first FYA as a driver - it's by the building with my cardiologist's office.  Apart from the fact that the FYA is first activated when opposing traffic still has a red ball (and does for about 30 seconds afterwards), I was so fixated on looking for a gap, I almost failed to notice the signal change to a green arrow - which also tells me that perhaps FYA is useless at this location, at least during certain times of day.  I'll also note that, this location was not a retrofit, but an entirely new signal and controller installation.

My personal justification for FYA is that it may be displayed without green ball, decoupling 2 moves. That is, when oncoming traffic has green left turn arrow, and during transitions from solid green ball to solid red ball+green arrow. Nothing more, nothing less.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 09, 2017, 10:39:47 AM
As I understand it, the whole reason the flashing yellow arrow (FYA) came into existence is because apparently drivers have become so dumb that they no longer understand that, when taking a left turn on a green ball, it is your responsibility to YIELD to oncoming traffic.

So, and meaning no disrespect to the legions of people who developed, studied, and evaluated the FYA BEFORE having it adopted as a MUTCD standard, instead of conducting campaigns to re-educate drivers about the meaning of a green ball and how you are supposed to take left turns when facing one, we have developed an entirely new signal indication that is not at all intuitive, and has required state and local agencies to conduct campaigns to educate drivers about the meaning of the FYA and how you are supposed to take a left turn when facing one.

FWIW, about a month ago I encountered my first FYA as a driver - it's by the building with my cardiologist's office.  Apart from the fact that the FYA is first activated when opposing traffic still has a red ball (and does for about 30 seconds afterwards), I was so fixated on looking for a gap, I almost failed to notice the signal change to a green arrow - which also tells me that perhaps FYA is useless at this location, at least during certain times of day.  I'll also note that, this location was not a retrofit, but an entirely new signal and controller installation.

If you only encountered this one time, and during that one time there wasn't a gap, how does that translate to it being useless (even during certain times of day).

Traffic engineers look at how an intersection performs 24 hours a day.  If they made their decision based on a single trip thru an intersection, signal times would be horrendously poor.


Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: roadman on August 09, 2017, 11:04:24 AM
As I understand it, the whole reason the flashing yellow arrow (FYA) came into existence is because apparently drivers have become so dumb that they no longer understand that, when taking a left turn on a green ball, it is your responsibility to YIELD to oncoming traffic.

So, and meaning no disrespect to the legions of people who developed, studied, and evaluated the FYA BEFORE having it adopted as a MUTCD standard, instead of conducting campaigns to re-educate drivers about the meaning of a green ball and how you are supposed to take left turns when facing one, we have developed an entirely new signal indication that is not at all intuitive, and has required state and local agencies to conduct campaigns to educate drivers about the meaning of the FYA and how you are supposed to take a left turn when facing one.

FWIW, about a month ago I encountered my first FYA as a driver - it's by the building with my cardiologist's office.  Apart from the fact that the FYA is first activated when opposing traffic still has a red ball (and does for about 30 seconds afterwards), I was so fixated on looking for a gap, I almost failed to notice the signal change to a green arrow - which also tells me that perhaps FYA is useless at this location, at least during certain times of day.  I'll also note that, this location was not a retrofit, but an entirely new signal and controller installation.
If you only encountered this one time, and during that one time there wasn't a gap, how does that translate to it being useless (even during certain times of day).
Traffic engineers look at how an intersection performs 24 hours a day.  If they made their decision based on a single trip thru an intersection, signal times would be horrendously poor.

Yes, I understand how traffic signal timings are developed.  I get your point, and have modified my post.  However, after my appointment (about 11:30 in the morning), I went down to the intersection and observed the signal operation for several cycles.  During all of the FYA cycles, the opposing traffic did not provide any gaps for left turners.  That to me indicates a problem with using FYA in this situation during certain times of day.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: Revive 755 on August 09, 2017, 06:47:38 PM
If the yellow is a flashing yellow arrow, it means about the same as a yield sign: You can make the left turn if safe to do so, but if not you have to stop and wait.  A flashing yellow arrow has never been construed to allow someone to fly thru an intersection without care of other traffic.

I seem to recall reading that there was once a split-phased intersection in Indiana that had night flashing and used a flashing yellow arrow one direction while the other legs had flashing red indications.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: johndoe on August 09, 2017, 08:45:19 PM
During all of the FYA cycles, the opposing traffic did not provide any gaps for left turners.  That to me indicates a problem with using FYA in this situation during certain times of day.

If I'm understanding correctly, you're describing something that is more related to the split time of the protected phase rather than the method of display (FYA vs permissive-green-ball).

Your story reminds me of another bonus of FYA (other than the big one pointed out by Kalvado): permissive turns don't have to be allowed when the same approach's through movement goes green.  I can think of two situations this is helpful.  1. You can prohibit permissive turns by time of day.  I'm not sure that I typically agree with the idea, but I've heard signal technicians implement this based upon specific volume patterns.  Say a school is releasing and you know the opposing through is so high there will be no gaps for lefts, so you don't want them to make a risky move.  2. You can prohibit permissive turns during cycles with conflicting pedestrian movements.  I don't know enough about signal programming to be certain, but I believe the green ball on the five section head always displays when the through movement does.

Partial Hijack: I seem to remember Utah using FYA for some right turns (I remember an example of a DDI with pedestrian crossing)...do we know if that practice has become more widespread?  Or have you ever seen FYA for a DDI left-turn?
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jakeroot on August 09, 2017, 09:27:18 PM
Your story reminds me of another bonus of FYA (other than the big one pointed out by Kalvado): permissive turns don't have to be allowed when the same approach's through movement goes green.  I can think of two situations this is helpful.  1. You can prohibit permissive turns by time of day.  I'm not sure that I typically agree with the idea, but I've heard signal technicians implement this based upon specific volume patterns.  Say a school is releasing and you know the opposing through is so high there will be no gaps for lefts, so you don't want them to make a risky move.  2. You can prohibit permissive turns during cycles with conflicting pedestrian movements.  I don't know enough about signal programming to be certain, but I believe the green ball on the five section head always displays when the through movement does.

Not to shit all over your post, but I did mention these things on the last page:

There are FYAs in nearly all jurisdictions within 400 miles of me , yet not a single one (AFAIK) operates FYAs in this manner, probably because it doesn't make any sense. Some do have odd quirks:

- protected-only based on time of day (although increasingly normal)
- longer all-red phases between the protected and permissive phase (though some have none, such as many left turns in Seattle)
- red while pedestrian has walk sign

At least where I am, both things you mentioned are very common. Lynnwood and Federal Way, WA both block out the permissive phase during peak hours. Bellevue and Puyallup block out the permissive phase when the pedestrian walk sign is on. Both are certainly controversial in their own right. I'm not sure I have an opinion on either just yet.

Partial Hijack: I seem to remember Utah using FYA for some right turns (I remember an example of a DDI with pedestrian crossing)

I-15 NB slip lane (exit 284) towards Timpanogos Hwy.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: US 89 on August 09, 2017, 11:28:12 PM
Partial Hijack: I seem to remember Utah using FYA for some right turns (I remember an example of a DDI with pedestrian crossing)...do we know if that practice has become more widespread?  Or have you ever seen FYA for a DDI left-turn?

I-15 NB slip lane (exit 284) towards Timpanogos Hwy.

Jakeroot is right, and that's still the only one I know of. I believe all DDI left turns are protected only here in UT, but some might offer a turn on red after a full stop (pretty sure not, but it could be). I have definitely never seen a FYA on a DDI left.

If a separate signal is used for right turns, it is almost always a doghouse, which is tied to the left turn signal for cross traffic from the right (which is also given a No U-turn sign). There is one intersection in St. George which uses a 5-section vertical signal for the right turn. Right turn signals are generally only used where there is high right-turn volume.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: johndoe on August 10, 2017, 05:02:54 AM
Not to shit all over your post, but I did mention these things on the last page:

Oops, my bad!  The irony is that I was answering yet another "what's wrong with the old way of permissive lefts? " which has been asked approximately a billion times.  I made the same error they do by posting without reading the thread.

The reason I ask about the DDI left is that some areas have laws that allow left on red between two one-way streets.  That applies at a DDI, but most drivers don't know the rule.  Perhaps a FYA would be a way to allow this movement rather than a "left on red after stop" sign.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: paulthemapguy on August 10, 2017, 09:45:56 AM
My personal justification for FYA is that it may be displayed without green ball, decoupling 2 moves. That is, when oncoming traffic has green left turn arrow, and during transitions from solid green ball to solid red ball+green arrow. Nothing more, nothing less.

I just wanted to say that I like this feature of FYA's too, and I agree with you.  FYA's also separate straight movements and turning movements better than doghouses/5-section stacks, if road agencies wish to do that.  FYA's have the most versatility--but if you're in a simple situation, and you want to maximize green time for all phases, you're just going to operate the signal in the same way doghouses have been running for decades.  If you have railroads, crosswalks, or odd configurations, FYA's give you a lot more options.  In basic situations, though, the added versatility of FYA's doesn't really help you unless you overthink an intersection's operation.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jakeroot on August 10, 2017, 08:46:53 PM
Not to shit all over your post, but I did mention these things on the last page:

Oops, my bad!  The irony is that I was answering yet another "what's wrong with the old way of permissive lefts? " which has been asked approximately a billion times.  I made the same error they do by posting without reading the thread.

No worries mate! The entire FYA discussion (this one plus about a billion others) really just rehash the same concerns/explanations over and over again. This thread is completely redundant, but it is what it is.

The reason I ask about the DDI left is that some areas have laws that allow left on red between two one-way streets.  That applies at a DDI, but most drivers don't know the rule.  Perhaps a FYA would be a way to allow this movement rather than a "left on red after stop" sign.

Washington would be one of those states. We also allow left turns onto one-ways from two-ways. Not like that applies here, but drivers are very used to left on red around here. Once WSDOT finishes their first DDI in Lacey, I will let you know how often I see people turn on red.

A left-facing FYA would work well. Depends on how many lanes, though. One would be totally acceptable. Two would be doable. Three might be overkill. Four would be...I'm not sure if there is such a thing: four lanes yielding at once?  :-D I love the sound of it, though!
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: US 89 on August 10, 2017, 10:55:05 PM
The reason I ask about the DDI left is that some areas have laws that allow left on red between two one-way streets.  That applies at a DDI, but most drivers don't know the rule.  Perhaps a FYA would be a way to allow this movement rather than a "left on red after stop" sign.

Utah does have this law (though I don't know of any intersection where this applies!)

The reason it doesn't apply here is that every DDI in Utah has dual left turns, which by state MUTCD requires a protected only movement.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: freebrickproductions on August 10, 2017, 11:19:46 PM
Not to shit all over your post, but I did mention these things on the last page:

Oops, my bad!  The irony is that I was answering yet another "what's wrong with the old way of permissive lefts? " which has been asked approximately a billion times.  I made the same error they do by posting without reading the thread.

No worries mate! The entire FYA discussion (this one plus about a billion others) really just rehash the same concerns/explanations over and over again. This thread is completely redundant, but it is what it is.

People will also always complain about "the new way of doing things", especially when it comes to traffic control. Apparently back when Huntsville, AL swapped from having black letters on white backgrounds for the street blades here back in the 60s to the current white letters on green backgrounds, many of the older residents complained about the change. I have to wonder how they'd react to seeing the current mixed-case street blades that are being put up!
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: kalvado on August 11, 2017, 07:35:30 AM
People will also always complain about "the new way of doing things", especially when it comes to traffic control. Apparently back when Huntsville, AL swapped from having black letters on white backgrounds for the street blades here back in the 60s to the current white letters on green backgrounds, many of the older residents complained about the change. I have to wonder how they'd react to seeing the current mixed-case street blades that are being put up!
On one hand, that is definitely true. On the other hand, one of big features of US traffic control is that you don't really need to know anything to understand meaning of signs, if you can read very basic English you are good.
Compare that with European standard - which is pictogram oriented, either because there are many languages or because literacy was not a certain thing back when standard was adopted.
Imagine you fly overseas, rent a car (struggle with stickshift, but that is another story), drive out and face this sign: (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5c/Denmark_road_sign_B17.svg/120px-Denmark_road_sign_B17.svg.png)
Or this one: (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bc/Zeichen_250.svg/120px-Zeichen_250.svg.png)
Good thing they are fairly standard across few countries.
Well, if you did your homework and looked up the rules - it is not a big deal, but....

I don't expect driving laws to be way different across state lines, and I don't really read driver manuals of states I head to. Heck, many people don't know laws of their home state. And certainly I expect minimal difference in signage. Mixed-case white on green clearview is not that different from black on white all-caps highway gothic.  But, like with euoropean signs, there is no way to guess the meaning of FYA. You know it or you don't. And that put it in a different class compared to font color issues.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: Baloo Uriza on August 11, 2017, 11:49:07 AM
What I don't understand is why FYA is not incorporated in existing doghouse layout. For me that doghouse alone is a strong message. and replacing that one with a tower means loosing some communication.

The doghouse layout can't give left turns a red indication while giving through traffic any other indication.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: Baloo Uriza on August 11, 2017, 11:54:36 AM
The correct programming of a lagging left is to go straight from FYA to a green arrow. If the FYA is going to solid yellow and red before going to the solid green, the signal is programmed wrong. If the signal is programmed correctly, the perceived yellow trap should not occur.

An example of a perceived yellow trap can be seen at 0:39 in this video.  Drivers in the left turn lane who see the adjacent signal heads change to yellow automatically assume the opposing through direction is changing to yellow at the same time.  Before the FYA came into existence, this assumption was almost always correct (because if the opposing thru wasn't changing to yellow simultaneously, it would lead to a yellow trap) .  But now drivers have to realize that the opposing thru may still have a green light when the adjacent thru changes to yellow. 




That's not a yellow trap. Which you know, because you said it's a 'perceived' yellow trap.

The intersection probably would've been better off as a roundabout anyway.

Even then, it's a situation that seems to only be a problem with folks who don't keep their skills current and old people making faulty assumptions.  And not even one that anybody would necessarily make if they're coming from places where one-signal-per-lane is typical.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: Baloo Uriza on August 11, 2017, 12:03:06 PM
^^
Trade, unless you intend to provide some hard evidence that this perceived yellow trap is an actual issue, your point is moot.

The TRB contains literature that discusses the "perceived" yellow trap at FYA:

Quote
Methods for Operation and Detection of the Flashing Yellow Arrow Display:  The Flashing Yellow Arrow (FYA) display is a form of protected-permitted left-turn phasing (PPLT) approved in 2006 by the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and is anticipated for inclusion in the next release of the MUTCD. The FYA display eliminates the yellow trap, allows lead-lag phasing with PPLT, and allows time of day selection of protected-only or permitted-only phasing. This paper describes operational and efficiency benefits of the Flashing Yellow Arrow display and how they are achieved by selection of phasing, timing elements, and modified detection methods. In addition, the paper will describe some lessons learned that will be valuable for other engineers who are contemplating or just starting to use the FYA. The question then becomes how the traffic engineer should utilize the power and flexibility of the FYA display and when to exercise restraint. The real power of the FYA becomes available when the engineer starts to break away from “leading lefts only” phasing typically required by traditional PPLT. This paper will discuss different phasing options with the FYA and the pluses and minuses of each in terms of what existing problems they might solve or mitigate. Along with this will be a discussion of detection strategies from simple to complex that can greatly improve the efficiency of the FYA. Finally, there will be a description of a “perceived” yellow trap that can occur in some circumstances with the FYA and how to recognize when it may be a problem.

https://trid.trb.org/view.aspx?id=921218

Beyond that there are agencies that prefer leading lefts over lagging lefts at FYA.  They cite the "perceived yellow trap" issue in their reasoning.  Here’s a snippet from a webinar by the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium about whether or not the FYA solves the yellow trap:

Quote
Q: What degree does the FYA solve the “yellow trap” problem. And does Washington County lead the protected interval at FYA or lead/lag to benefit coordination?

A: The FYA completely solves the yellow trap problem, because now the left turn lane has its own display.  There is still the potential of the “perceived yellow trap” which is when the driver in the left lane sees the adjacent through go solid yellow and thinks that the FYA is also ending.  It is called perceived, because the driver should focus on their own lane’s signal control. Washington County prefers to lead the protected interval at FYA so if the protected left isn’t needed then it can be skipped.  In a coordinated system we will lead or lag whichever benefits the coordination. (SS)

You can still skip a protected left turn at a lagging FYA but it sounds like Washington County chooses not to do that.  They don't want to introduce the perceived yellow trap, so presumably they tie the lagging left turns together to run simultaneously.  Jake, don't you live near Washington County, Oregon?  You tell me how the lagging left installations run there and if any perceived yellow traps exist.

Washington County skips the protected left phase if nobody's waiting behind the line, so you only get the yellow trap if you're the kind of weirdo who stops in the intersection, which isn't legal to do there in the first place anyway.  Or if you're on a bicycle on a poorly tuned induction loop (rare since MSTIPS 2 in the early 1990s, Washington County's usually very good at tuning their induction loops to pick up a bicycle); non-extant if you're waiting behind the line at mast-arm signals since those are all video detection now.

Washington County also gives a FYA when the conflicting crosswalk is on a walk signal, which given weirdly wide streets meeting narrow streets at intersections and local driver behavior, it should be a steady-red during the walk phase, acting as the left turn equivalent of a HAWK.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: freebrickproductions on August 11, 2017, 02:10:40 PM
But, like with euoropean signs, there is no way to guess the meaning of FYA. You know it or you don't. And that put it in a different class compared to font color issues.
That's why, just like most doghouse traffic lights, they have signs posted next to them explaining the meaning of the permissive indication, along with the cities/towns/DOTs and news agencies providing information about how they work.
Besides, the majority of the motoring public seems to have been able to understand them fairly quickly, as very rarely do I see a driver who doesn't understand a FYA signal.

Just face it, the FYA is a superior signal in just about every case, and can be understood by the public just as easily as a doghouse or inline-5 signal. The FHWA wouldn't have adopted them into the MUTCD had they not been just as easily understood as a doghouse while being an overall better signal.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: kalvado on August 11, 2017, 03:03:04 PM
But, like with euoropean signs, there is no way to guess the meaning of FYA. You know it or you don't. And that put it in a different class compared to font color issues.
That's why, just like most doghouse traffic lights, they have signs posted next to them explaining the meaning of the permissive indication, along with the cities/towns/DOTs and news agencies providing information about how they work.
Besides, the majority of the motoring public seems to have been able to understand them fairly quickly, as very rarely do I see a driver who doesn't understand a FYA signal.

Just face it, the FYA is a superior signal in just about every case, and can be understood by the public just as easily as a doghouse or inline-5 signal. The FHWA wouldn't have adopted them into the MUTCD had they not been just as easily understood as a doghouse while being an overall better signal.
Well, unlike roundabouts, my concerns are procedural, not fundamental. I suspect in many cases benefits of FYA are overrated, but it does have a place in road design toolbox.   
 And no, I saw few FYA over here - and no single explanation. And I don't have enough data to make any conclusions about how well it is understood, though. Yes, it is just a matter of spreading the word, though. 
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: UCFKnights on August 11, 2017, 09:27:07 PM
But, like with euoropean signs, there is no way to guess the meaning of FYA. You know it or you don't. And that put it in a different class compared to font color issues.
That's why, just like most doghouse traffic lights, they have signs posted next to them explaining the meaning of the permissive indication, along with the cities/towns/DOTs and news agencies providing information about how they work.
Besides, the majority of the motoring public seems to have been able to understand them fairly quickly, as very rarely do I see a driver who doesn't understand a FYA signal.

Just face it, the FYA is a superior signal in just about every case, and can be understood by the public just as easily as a doghouse or inline-5 signal. The FHWA wouldn't have adopted them into the MUTCD had they not been just as easily understood as a doghouse while being an overall better signal.
Well, unlike roundabouts, my concerns are procedural, not fundamental. I suspect in many cases benefits of FYA are overrated, but it does have a place in road design toolbox.   
 And no, I saw few FYA over here - and no single explanation. And I don't have enough data to make any conclusions about how well it is understood, though. Yes, it is just a matter of spreading the word, though.
But even if the benefits are overrated, what would be the drawback? Other then a little bit of driver familiarity, it seems the answer to that is "none"

Keep in mind too that while the doghouses were the most popular way to do PPLT, many agencies did recognize the problems with it, and other alternatives are in use throughout the nation (dallas phasing, flashing balls for left turn signals, flashing red arrows, etc). This provides a consistent problem to the solution and not only obsoletes the doghouse, but the other alternatives as well.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: kalvado on August 12, 2017, 06:34:30 AM

But even if the benefits are overrated, what would be the drawback? Other then a little bit of driver familiarity, it seems the answer to that is "none"

Keep in mind too that while the doghouses were the most popular way to do PPLT, many agencies did recognize the problems with it, and other alternatives are in use throughout the nation (dallas phasing, flashing balls for left turn signals, flashing red arrows, etc). This provides a consistent problem to the solution and not only obsoletes the doghouse, but the other alternatives as well.
What are the drawbacks other than a big one? well, if you don't consider that a showstopper to begin with...
Actually, a good question - how to force feed information to all drivers? I thought about that for a while, and my best idea is to have a "road laws update" leaflet and a short quiz to get license renewed. I would include roundabout refresh, FYA, SPUI, maybe DDI (although we don't have any in the state, I believe) and move over for current cycle. Probably would require a lot of laws to be changed, though... 

As for doghouse.. Maybe I wasn't very clear - my original question was " is it OK to keep the doghouse and use yellow arrow in middle left as FYA?" and "is it OK to attach FYA to a doghouse, if previous one is not OK?"
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: mrsman on August 13, 2017, 10:14:15 AM

But even if the benefits are overrated, what would be the drawback? Other then a little bit of driver familiarity, it seems the answer to that is "none"

Keep in mind too that while the doghouses were the most popular way to do PPLT, many agencies did recognize the problems with it, and other alternatives are in use throughout the nation (dallas phasing, flashing balls for left turn signals, flashing red arrows, etc). This provides a consistent problem to the solution and not only obsoletes the doghouse, but the other alternatives as well.
What are the drawbacks other than a big one? well, if you don't consider that a showstopper to begin with...
Actually, a good question - how to force feed information to all drivers? I thought about that for a while, and my best idea is to have a "road laws update" leaflet and a short quiz to get license renewed. I would include roundabout refresh, FYA, SPUI, maybe DDI (although we don't have any in the state, I believe) and move over for current cycle. Probably would require a lot of laws to be changed, though... 

As for doghouse.. Maybe I wasn't very clear - my original question was " is it OK to keep the doghouse and use yellow arrow in middle left as FYA?" and "is it OK to attach FYA to a doghouse, if previous one is not OK?"

I agree with the idea of a leaflet that should come in the mail with your registration renewal.  I wouldn't require good drivers to take the test every 2 years as it would overwhelm the DMV - the lines are long enough as it is.  There are all sorts of recent driving laws that have come about that didn't exist when I first learned to drive 25 years ago.  MD has a move over law for emergency vehicles that stop along the side of the road.   Many states are also incorporating KREPT and there also always seem to be some kind of change with the levels of fines and other standards.

In some places, there are new speed limits as well.  NYC now has a default of 25, but that is pretty well signed.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: Baloo Uriza on August 13, 2017, 01:38:10 PM
I wouldn't require good drivers to take the test every 2 years as it would overwhelm the DMV - the lines are long enough as it is.

Oklahoma divides the safety and tax responsibilities, and it makes for a far smoother experience than most states.  Turns out the UNIX method of "do one thing, and one thing well" works for government agencies as well.  Go to the Department of Public Safety for your test, and the Tag Agent to pay for the card.  There's very rarely a line for either one.  I took my Oklahoma driver's test (they retest everyone from a state with significantly different laws, and I was turning in an Oregon license) in a single lunch hour and paid to get my license changed from the free instate license DPS gives you over to the card that can also be used as an ID and to drive in other states after work and still made it home before the end of rush hour.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: vdeane on August 13, 2017, 07:11:40 PM
I agree with the idea of a leaflet that should come in the mail with your registration renewal.  I wouldn't require good drivers to take the test every 2 years as it would overwhelm the DMV - the lines are long enough as it is.
Every 2 years?  Around here, a driver's licence is good for 8!  Not sure how vehicle registration got mixed into the conversation.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jakeroot on August 13, 2017, 07:34:27 PM
I agree with the idea of a leaflet that should come in the mail with your registration renewal.  I wouldn't require good drivers to take the test every 2 years as it would overwhelm the DMV - the lines are long enough as it is.

Every 2 years?  Around here, a driver's licence is good for 8!  Not sure how vehicle registration got mixed into the conversation.

When you get new tabs, included would be a leaflet that covers any new traffic control devices. Some states like Oregon would be handicapped due to 2-year registrations.

Re-sitting a test every 6 or 8 years doesn't sound unreasonable to me. You could do it online. Maybe build an app or something.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: kalvado on August 13, 2017, 08:30:45 PM
I agree with the idea of a leaflet that should come in the mail with your registration renewal.  I wouldn't require good drivers to take the test every 2 years as it would overwhelm the DMV - the lines are long enough as it is.

Every 2 years?  Around here, a driver's licence is good for 8!  Not sure how vehicle registration got mixed into the conversation.

When you get new tabs, included would be a leaflet that covers any new traffic control devices. Some states like Oregon would be handicapped due to 2-year registrations.

Re-sitting a test every 6 or 8 years doesn't sound unreasonable to me. You could do it online. Maybe build an app or something.
I was thinking about less than a full scale test, something like 5 multiple choice question along the lines of "what FYA means - (1)protected turn, (2)permissive turn, (3)change of signal, (4)severe weather alert" - just to make sure leaflet is read and understood.
Doing such test either online or on a form at DMV is not a huge burden. Although permit test in NY is pretty much a joke anyway - at least it was when I was taking it. My favorite question was what to do if you have a green light, but a cop shows you to stop where you are. One of choices was "run  over that person so that traffic may flow normally"...
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jakeroot on August 13, 2017, 09:42:35 PM
My favorite [NYS driver's permit] question was what to do if you have a green light, but a cop shows you to stop where you are. One of choices was "run  over that person so that traffic may flow normally"...

(http://i.imgur.com/A5pV0.gif)
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: vdeane on August 14, 2017, 12:51:09 PM
I remember one question on that test where the answer was contained in the following question.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 14, 2017, 01:24:13 PM
I agree with the idea of a leaflet that should come in the mail with your registration renewal.  I wouldn't require good drivers to take the test every 2 years as it would overwhelm the DMV - the lines are long enough as it is.

Every 2 years?  Around here, a driver's licence is good for 8!  Not sure how vehicle registration got mixed into the conversation.

When you get new tabs, included would be a leaflet that covers any new traffic control devices. Some states like Oregon would be handicapped due to 2-year registrations.

Re-sitting a test every 6 or 8 years doesn't sound unreasonable to me. You could do it online. Maybe build an app or something.
I was thinking about less than a full scale test, something like 5 multiple choice question along the lines of "what FYA means - (1)protected turn, (2)permissive turn, (3)change of signal, (4)severe weather alert" - just to make sure leaflet is read and understood.
Doing such test either online or on a form at DMV is not a huge burden. Although permit test in NY is pretty much a joke anyway - at least it was when I was taking it. My favorite question was what to do if you have a green light, but a cop shows you to stop where you are. One of choices was "run  over that person so that traffic may flow normally"...

Let's just say someone actually believe that and chose it.  If it's a 50 question test and that's the only answer they got wrong, they passed with a 98% score.

The next day, they encounter a cop stopping traffic at a green light.  The guy hits the cop.  The guy is now in jail.

Personally, they should require a 100% passing rate on a test to get a license.  If you miss "What is one drink considered" and you don't drink, it's probably not going to harm you in life.  If you miss "What do you do when you see a red 8 sided sign with the letters STOP in it", and pull out of the parking lot failing to stop because you truly didn't know what that sign meant, it could be disastrous.

But in today's tests, missing just either one out of 50 means you still pass, although one is way more important than the other.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: kalvado on August 14, 2017, 02:15:24 PM
But in today's tests, missing just either one out of 50 means you still pass, although one is way more important than the other.
Life is not perfect. How do you call the last person on medical college graduates list? Right, "doctor".

Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: Scott5114 on August 15, 2017, 06:15:44 AM
I wouldn't require good drivers to take the test every 2 years as it would overwhelm the DMV - the lines are long enough as it is.

Oklahoma divides the safety and tax responsibilities, and it makes for a far smoother experience than most states.  Turns out the UNIX method of "do one thing, and one thing well" works for government agencies as well.  Go to the Department of Public Safety for your test, and the Tag Agent to pay for the card.  There's very rarely a line for either one.  I took my Oklahoma driver's test (they retest everyone from a state with significantly different laws, and I was turning in an Oregon license) in a single lunch hour and paid to get my license changed from the free instate license DPS gives you over to the card that can also be used as an ID and to drive in other states after work and still made it home before the end of rush hour.

The idea of tag agencies is the one time that Oklahoma's state government stumbled ass-backwards into something that works really well.

For those who don't live in pan-shaped states, tag agencies are private businesses that act as middlemen to the Oklahoma DPS. While I wouldn't advocate for the privatization of most chunks of the government, it's fantastic for the run-of-the-mill car registration stuff that 99% of people need to do at some point. They handle license renewals, tag renewals and issuing, voter registration, and so forth.

Because they're businesses, they sprout up wherever there's a healthy number of customers and someone willing to run them. You can find three of them in Norman alone, for example, and there's usually one in any decent-sized small town. That means that the wait time at them is normally non-existent. Most of them offer other convenient services as well, like notarization. They're also impervious to the political shenanigans that some states are accused of (closing or relocating them to make members of certain communities less likely to be able to get ID, etc.). You can't just eliminate a tag agency with the stroke of a pen (although I assume there's some method of closing an agency for cause).

It's one of the few ideas we have that other states should really give thought to copying.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: US 89 on August 15, 2017, 09:50:48 AM
My favorite [NYS driver's permit] question was what to do if you have a green light, but a cop shows you to stop where you are. One of choices was "run  over that person so that traffic may flow normally"...

(http://i.imgur.com/A5pV0.gif)

The UT permit test was like that. I know one question was "How many sides does a stop sign have?" The multiple choice options were 4, 6, and 8.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 15, 2017, 10:08:12 AM
But in today's tests, missing just either one out of 50 means you still pass, although one is way more important than the other.
Life is not perfect. How do you call the last person on medical college graduates list? Right, "doctor".

Correct.  But if you're looking for a doctor that could potentially save your life, that would be the one you'll like to stay away from.  Like when you need emergency surgery because someone didn't understand what the red light meant at a traffic light.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: Brandon on August 15, 2017, 10:43:42 AM
But in today's tests, missing just either one out of 50 means you still pass, although one is way more important than the other.
Life is not perfect. How do you call the last person on medical college graduates list? Right, "doctor".

Correct.  But if you're looking for a doctor that could potentially save your life, that would be the one you'll like to stay away from.  Like when you need emergency surgery because someone didn't understand what the red light meant at a traffic light.

Maybe, maybe not.  Book learning and testing well does not necessarily equate to real world performance.  Someone can test very badly yet perform extremely well.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: kalvado on August 15, 2017, 10:58:33 AM
But in today's tests, missing just either one out of 50 means you still pass, although one is way more important than the other.
Life is not perfect. How do you call the last person on medical college graduates list? Right, "doctor".

Correct.  But if you're looking for a doctor that could potentially save your life, that would be the one you'll like to stay away from.  Like when you need emergency surgery because someone didn't understand what the red light meant at a traffic light.
Realistically, how many important traffic law provisions are not common sense? Until you grew up somewhere in jungle, by the age of 12 you probably know the meaning of green and red. There are really few things you need to remember - passing school bus, parking near hydrant... Turn on red and entering roundabout need to be explained once and for all, it is not about people not knowing it. I bet most traffic violations are just ignoring the "unimportant" law (such as speed limit), not failure to understand that running over a person is a very very bad idea - except some really extreme situations.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: Baloo Uriza on August 15, 2017, 12:46:51 PM
I wouldn't require good drivers to take the test every 2 years as it would overwhelm the DMV - the lines are long enough as it is.

Oklahoma divides the safety and tax responsibilities, and it makes for a far smoother experience than most states.  Turns out the UNIX method of "do one thing, and one thing well" works for government agencies as well.  Go to the Department of Public Safety for your test, and the Tag Agent to pay for the card.  There's very rarely a line for either one.  I took my Oklahoma driver's test (they retest everyone from a state with significantly different laws, and I was turning in an Oregon license) in a single lunch hour and paid to get my license changed from the free instate license DPS gives you over to the card that can also be used as an ID and to drive in other states after work and still made it home before the end of rush hour.

For those who don't live in pan-shaped states, tag agencies are private businesses that act as middlemen to the Oklahoma DPS. While I wouldn't advocate for the privatization of most chunks of the government, it's fantastic for the run-of-the-mill car registration stuff that 99% of people need to do at some point. They handle license renewals, tag renewals and issuing, voter registration, and so forth.

They don't act as a middleman to the DPS.  It's just not the DPS's authority to collect fees.  They're a middleman to the Oklahoma Tax Commission, an entirely different agency.  Why it's privatized, I don't understand, considering that any money you give them goes to the Tax Commission directly (cash drops, credit cards, and checks, which have to be made out to the OTC), and then the OTC pays the private agency you went to.  Seems like it'd be a lot less hassle for the state to collect it's own taxes, so it could be made more efficient if the state ran the tag agents.

The tag agents don't just deal with license plates, but with everything that requires a tax stamp, plus thanks to motor voter, incidentally can handle your voter registration.  You go to a tag agent if you want to go fishing, hunting, sell or distribute certain crops, etc.

Because they're businesses, they sprout up wherever there's a healthy number of customers and someone willing to run them. You can find three of them in Norman alone, for example, and there's usually one in any decent-sized small town. That means that the wait time at them is normally non-existent. Most of them offer other convenient services as well, like notarization. They're also impervious to the political shenanigans that some states are accused of (closing or relocating them to make members of certain communities less likely to be able to get ID, etc.).

Well, except that anyone living in No Man's Land has to come downstate to get to a tag agent, even though they have DPS offices in the NML.  Which is not an inconsequential distance.  A lack of state services has, since the Dust Bowl, been a source of great resentment and why the Communist Party had such a strong hold on that area prior to McCarthyism.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: paulthemapguy on August 15, 2017, 08:27:27 PM
Realistically, how many important traffic law provisions are not common sense? Until you grew up somewhere in jungle, by the age of 12 you probably know the meaning of green and red. There are really few things you need to remember - passing school bus, parking near hydrant... Turn on red and entering roundabout need to be explained once and for all, it is not about people not knowing it. I bet most traffic violations are just ignoring the "unimportant" law (such as speed limit), not failure to understand that running over a person is a very very bad idea - except some really extreme situations.

If the intended behavior of a motorist is anything other than straightforward, it is a failure of roadway engineers and affiliates.  If it takes more than a couple sentences to describe to a motorist how they're supposed to navigate a traffic pattern, then the traffic pattern should not be implemented.  It's a safety issue, and whoever installed the convoluted piece of infrastructure should be deemed negligent.  You have to design everything so that even an idiot can easily understand it.  This is why road agencies are so slow to change, though--if the motoring public isn't familiar with a certain traffic design element, it's not worth subjecting them to the learning curve if it costs human lives.  Though if a new design element is entirely safer than the traditional alternative, maybe the introduction of a new element would be worth it.  Whether or not it's worth it--that's where the gray areas come from, giving way to a lot of arguments on this forum.  Some of these arguments are nice to see, though, when the participants are cool people  :cool:
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: Revive 755 on August 16, 2017, 10:24:49 PM
Realistically, how many important traffic law provisions are not common sense? Until you grew up somewhere in jungle, by the age of 12 you probably know the meaning of green and red. There are really few things you need to remember - passing school bus, parking near hydrant... Turn on red and entering roundabout need to be explained once and for all, it is not about people not knowing it.

There's common sense and then there's having the laws that vary state by state.  Take turning on red: it varies in some states based on which side of the road the turn is on, and whether the red is an arrow or circular indication.  With school buses, there's a lot of varying on when opposing traffic must stop.  Then there are the real odd ones such as Wisconsin where the school bus can unload without always requiring traffic to stop, even if traffic is traveling in the same direction as the bus.
Title: Re: The Future of Flashing yellow arrows signals
Post by: mrsman on August 20, 2017, 06:30:05 AM
Realistically, how many important traffic law provisions are not common sense? Until you grew up somewhere in jungle, by the age of 12 you probably know the meaning of green and red. There are really few things you need to remember - passing school bus, parking near hydrant... Turn on red and entering roundabout need to be explained once and for all, it is not about people not knowing it.

There's common sense and then there's having the laws that vary state by state.  Take turning on red: it varies in some states based on which side of the road the turn is on, and whether the red is an arrow or circular indication.  With school buses, there's a lot of varying on when opposing traffic must stop.  Then there are the real odd ones such as Wisconsin where the school bus can unload without always requiring traffic to stop, even if traffic is traveling in the same direction as the bus.

More and more good arguments for nationalized uniform traffic laws despite federalism.