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Poll

Do you think dual permissive turns should be allowed?

Yes
- 25 (40.3%)
No
- 26 (41.9%)
Cat
- 11 (17.7%)

Total Members Voted: 62


Author Topic: Double left turns with permissive phasing  (Read 27781 times)

Tom958

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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #25 on: December 15, 2015, 06:59:04 AM »

Florida did have it in Kissimmee, FL on John Young Parkway and Carroll Street.  It lasted for a few months before Kissimmee (in Florida the state does not at all maintain or operate signals) realized that it was two lanes turning left with one doghouse for both lanes.  So in essence they added two left turn signals and made the turn on green arrow only.

There's one near my house in Gwinnett County, GA. It's an anomaly, AFAIK, but it's been like this for decades, even as FYA's have started to appear nearby. I hope it remains as is-- I've never had a problem with it. I guess that's mainly because straight-through traffic between Cruse Road and Marathon Blvd is very light.
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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2015, 09:43:31 AM »

A pretty common scenario with permissive turns, number of lanes irrelevant, is having the FYA go red when the pedestrian walk signal is green (Bellevue, WA does this at many of their FYAs). This might solve that problem.

I don't think I've ever seen this... It also seems that the capacity of the PPLT would be reduced considerably in such a case where this is done.

Sorry, should have been more specific. I have witnessed this in Bellevue, WA.

One of Bellevue's engineers, Mark Poch, gave a presentation a few years ago, and there's a snippet from that powerpoint, which I have seen many times implemented in Bellevue, which suggests eliminating the permissive phase during walk signals:

Quote
How? SCATS “Ped Minus Left” Feature

• Omit permissive portion of pro/per when the crosswalk has a walk or flashing don’t walk indication

Here's the whole presentation: http://goo.gl/sqg5qV. Page 19 has that quote on it, followed by a bunch of examples.

I've only seen 1 or 2 in my life but I really liked them, especially now with FYAs. It seems lilke an easy way to add quite a bit of traffic flow improvements. I see everyone here is claiming way too dangerous... I'd like to see some data on this. anyone have that available?

Exact data? Not really much. But the Virginia DOT (I cited this earlier) collected statements from different agencies about their experiences with flashing yellow arrows, and some of them noted their uses with double permissive lefts:

Kennewick, Washington:

Quote
It is not necessarily true that two lanes require Protected Only phasing. We run two locations like that. Our first location was turned on December 20th, 2004. It now serves a Home Depot, Walgreen's, Starbuck's, Pet Smart, and a few other small shops while the other side is single turn lane and serves Wal‐Mart, Burger King, Best Western, McDonalds and a gas station. This setup works fine because the two lanes both have clear vision of oncoming traffic, the opposing traffic is random arrival, and has adequate gaps. The two‐lanes were needed for storage due to [its] close proximity to a US Highway. Both turn lanes get used regularly and simultaneous traffic turning from the two lanes is not uncommon. I checked statistics and the actual left turn on the dual lane side gets triggered 20% of cycles or less. The Wal‐mart side gets triggered about 50% of the time through the peak hours.

Boulder, Colorado:

Quote
Actually we've had good success with using Protected/Permissive phasing (by time of day) on dual left‐turn lane approaches.  We are certainly not the only community in Colorado to do this either.  I've yet to see any data that supports the premise  that multiple left‐turn lanes requires protected only phasing.  I've always considered that to be "Folklore".

Richardson, Texas (by way of Las Vegas):

Quote
Allow me to add credence to it being "Folklore" that dual lefts require protected only.  When I was starting my municipal traffic engineering career in Richardson (TX) in the early 1980's, dual left‐turn lanes were the BIG NEW THING.  We went ahead and built signals at all of our major‐crossing‐major intersections having dual left turns with 5‐section left‐turn heads, and they almost all ran PPLT 24x7x365. The drivers became accustomed to it, and didn't crash (at a too‐high rate). You can Google Street View just about any major arterial intersection in Richardson today, and you'll see this practice survives 30 years on.

The quotes start on page 64 according to the PDF, though the page number on the bottom is 25.
Interesting.... another one I thought was pretty interesting and would like to see play out:
Quote
For single left‐turn lanes, I rarely find that the signal needs protection 24/7/365.   Herein lies one of the
wonderful applications of the FYA.   It affords the ability to run the needed indication according to the
conditions.    For duals, we have seen permitted operation and have just discovered the NCDOT is
experimenting with them.    We have one location out of 212 that we think may lend itself to this
operation.    Like the previous point, rarely do we need duals in the overnight hours.  I think the
technology will evolve that we can vary the duals by TOD.  Therefore the outside turn lane would run
with a standard three section head and the inside with a 4 section FYA.  During times when the duals
are needed, the FYA would be extinguished and full protection afforded.   Later, when appropriate the
FYA activated and the outside lane closed with a blankout sign.   The three section would stay red
and the blankout sign would flash if the detector for that lane became active.
Point here, as technology changes we should seriously examine the past paradigms to see whether
application of this technology can provide better service to our customers without sacrificing safety. By
displaying the correct design for the conditions, we are also most likely to gain the best compliance from
our roadway users and generate respect for the work we do.   Let’s also remember that most signals
are designed to handle the peak hour load which by logic of the K factor represents only 20% of our
users.   What about the other 80%?
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jakeroot

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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2015, 08:13:39 PM »

I added a poll. A bit late, but it doesn't hurt.
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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2015, 08:41:25 PM »

I've only seen 1 or 2 in my life but I really liked them, especially now with FYAs. It seems lilke an easy way to add quite a bit of traffic flow improvements. I see everyone here is claiming way too dangerous... I'd like to see some data on this. anyone have that available?

I'm going by how people drive on dual left turns in the midwest. I've seen too many accidents happen due to people leaving their lane while turning.

In the south suburbs of Chicago, the dotted line indicating where to turn is usually ignored.  The drivers in the outer lane frequently tend to cross it, varying from just half a tire width to the entire car being inside the curve.  They often don't allow the inner lane enough room and it often leads to the inner cars either hitting the median or causing the end of the turn to be extra sharp.  I will not use the left/inner lane of a double left anymore because it has become that bad.
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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2015, 09:56:18 PM »

I remember seeing one in Michigan (at least I think it was) about 12 years ago.  It wasn't until April that I saw another one, this one in Castle Rock, CO.
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cl94

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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #30 on: December 17, 2015, 10:04:22 AM »

I've only seen 1 or 2 in my life but I really liked them, especially now with FYAs. It seems lilke an easy way to add quite a bit of traffic flow improvements. I see everyone here is claiming way too dangerous... I'd like to see some data on this. anyone have that available?

I'm going by how people drive on dual left turns in the midwest. I've seen too many accidents happen due to people leaving their lane while turning.

In the south suburbs of Chicago, the dotted line indicating where to turn is usually ignored.  The drivers in the outer lane frequently tend to cross it, varying from just half a tire width to the entire car being inside the curve.  They often don't allow the inner lane enough room and it often leads to the inner cars either hitting the median or causing the end of the turn to be extra sharp.  I will not use the left/inner lane of a double left anymore because it has become that bad.

It extends east to at least Buffalo (which may as well be considered the Midwest). I see that every day. That or people on the inside take it too wide. Quite often, you'll have people on the inside making their turn so they end on the outside.
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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #31 on: December 17, 2015, 02:29:18 PM »

Around here it's the people in the inside lane taking a wide turn. It's a huge problem when there's an optional right-turn lane because people in the far right lane don't even look as they cut left.
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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #32 on: December 17, 2015, 02:54:02 PM »

I feel inclined to point out that not all of these double permissive turns always return to permissive mode. Sometimes, they are protected-only during the day, and permissive-only at night, when the traffic is so light (one or two cars at most per cycle), it's a waste to make the turn lanes protected-only. (In other words, the two lanes are only helpful during rush hour -- other times of the day, they're overkill, so the lights go permissive instead).
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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #33 on: December 17, 2015, 07:25:45 PM »

I feel inclined to point out that not all of these double permissive turns always return to permissive mode. Sometimes, they are protected-only during the day, and permissive-only at night, when the traffic is so light (one or two cars at most per cycle), it's a waste to make the turn lanes protected-only. (In other words, the two lanes are only helpful during rush hour -- other times of the day, they're overkill, so the lights go permissive instead).
Couldn't you just keep them protected then? You get the safety benefit of proteced signals, and outside of rush hour lights here at least operate on demand with induction loops, I can count on my fingers the number of times I've had to wait at a red light because no one was coming.
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UCFKnights

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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #34 on: December 17, 2015, 09:08:44 PM »

I feel inclined to point out that not all of these double permissive turns always return to permissive mode. Sometimes, they are protected-only during the day, and permissive-only at night, when the traffic is so light (one or two cars at most per cycle), it's a waste to make the turn lanes protected-only. (In other words, the two lanes are only helpful during rush hour -- other times of the day, they're overkill, so the lights go permissive instead).
Couldn't you just keep them protected then? You get the safety benefit of proteced signals, and outside of rush hour lights here at least operate on demand with induction loops, I can count on my fingers the number of times I've had to wait at a red light because no one was coming.
Having to stop is still disruptive, bad for the environment, and increases wear on vehicles. In areas without permissive signals (whether because of dual left turn lanes or otherwise), I'm constantly stopped at night as one person pulls into the left turn lane while I'm travelling down at 55mph straight. And of course, when I do eventually want to turn, I have to stop even though there is very clearly no oncoming traffic. If its safe, why make people stop at all?

I know living in Orlando, the most dangerous intersections are the ones with the protected lefts. Everyday, I see people running the red lights because they don't want to have to wait another 4 minutes to make their turn. The permissive signals eliminate that anxiety and fear as there is a chance they can make the turn sooner. I know thats my reaction... if its turning red, rush through the light, if its going permissive, I can wait as I can go in a gap in traffic and won't have to wait for every other phase of the cycle.
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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #35 on: December 30, 2015, 06:57:25 AM »

How about a dual permissive left turn with no traffic light at all.

From Los Angeles:

https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0417063,-118.2398621,3a,75y,336.11h,75.71t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s8L44gMXtW1wcReBFp6CpHQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

Here on the outskirts of Downtown LA, traffic from Whittier Blvd crosses the LA River (well, not now as the bridge is being replaced) and continues onto 6th Street.  At Central, 6th is one-way eastbound, so westbound traffic must turn right onto Central and then left onto 5th.  5th/Central is a T-intersection, with 5th being a one-way going away from the T.  The main stream of traffic is northbound Central turning left onto 5th.  Southbound Central has a stop sign, and they must yield to all the turning traffic.

I don't like this setup and would prefer a light at this intersection.  The left turn could be the dominant phase, but it would be much safer if southbound Central had their own light.
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roadfro

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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #36 on: December 30, 2015, 07:53:44 AM »

^ That's more of a "free left" situation, since the left turn direction is not controlled and the opposing direction has a stop sign.
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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #37 on: December 30, 2015, 08:53:24 AM »

How about a dual permissive left turn with no traffic light at all.

From Los Angeles:

https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0417063,-118.2398621,3a,75y,336.11h,75.71t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s8L44gMXtW1wcReBFp6CpHQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

Here on the outskirts of Downtown LA, traffic from Whittier Blvd crosses the LA River (well, not now as the bridge is being replaced) and continues onto 6th Street.  At Central, 6th is one-way eastbound, so westbound traffic must turn right onto Central and then left onto 5th.  5th/Central is a T-intersection, with 5th being a one-way going away from the T.  The main stream of traffic is northbound Central turning left onto 5th.  Southbound Central has a stop sign, and they must yield to all the turning traffic.

I don't like this setup and would prefer a light at this intersection.  The left turn could be the dominant phase, but it would be much safer if southbound Central had their own light.

Reminds me of Laurel Canyon and Hubbard before Laurel Canyon went through.  This seems weird to me; I wonder whatever happened to the house on the corner and the alley parallel to Hubbard here...(I used to live on that block of Hubbard).
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Brandon

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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #38 on: December 30, 2015, 10:55:52 AM »

Not an uncommon situation where there are Michigan Lefts: https://goo.gl/maps/DmrwcjyWDXs
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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2015, 03:30:40 PM »

Not an uncommon situation where there are Michigan Lefts: https://goo.gl/maps/DmrwcjyWDXs

I don't think that's necessarily the same thing (although they are related).
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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2015, 04:02:56 PM »

Not an uncommon situation where there are Michigan Lefts: https://goo.gl/maps/DmrwcjyWDXs

Those are protected by default because there is no oncoming traffic and no pedestrians. Isn't the same.
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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2015, 04:46:33 PM »

Here is one I found on NC 42 in Garner a few years back.  This is at Cleveland Rd just west of I-40 (Exit 312).

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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #42 on: December 30, 2015, 06:04:01 PM »

I have not seen one of these, but I echo the sentiments of others:  protected left turns are complicated enough for many drivers... permissive tandem turn lanes are not a safe move.  I'd motion for their banishment, if I were in charge of rulemaking.
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Tom958

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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #43 on: December 31, 2015, 10:32:38 PM »

There's one near my house in Gwinnett County, GA. It's an anomaly, AFAIK, but it's been like this for decades, even as FYA's have started to appear nearby. I hope it remains as is-- I've never had a problem with it. I guess that's mainly because straight-through traffic between Cruse Road and Marathon Blvd is very light.

They're replacing it with a protected phase. Oh, well, it was nice while it lasted.  :no:
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Brandon

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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #44 on: January 01, 2016, 08:52:32 AM »

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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #45 on: January 01, 2016, 03:49:05 PM »

Here's another one: https://goo.gl/maps/nwaCg11bp5H2

Is that a permitted left though? Looks like it could be a split phase setup just using 5-aspect heads, due to the shared lane... In street view, it only shows as either red or green arrow+ball (with red for opposing traffic) in all time views, so this seems like a split phase.

If it is a permitted setup, that's rarely a good idea to have a protected/permitted left with a shared lane...that can hinder throughput.
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cl94

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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #46 on: January 01, 2016, 04:16:13 PM »

Here's another one: https://goo.gl/maps/nwaCg11bp5H2

Is that a permitted left though? Looks like it could be a split phase setup just using 5-aspect heads, due to the shared lane... In street view, it only shows as either red or green arrow+ball (with red for opposing traffic) in all time views, so this seems like a split phase.

If it is a permitted setup, that's rarely a good idea to have a protected/permitted left with a shared lane...that can hinder throughput.

MUTCD actually prohibits using a shared left turn lane for a dual left if it isn't split phasing. Of course, you get places like the Adirondacks which violate this, but the installation posted in this thread may date to before the restriction was put in place.
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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #47 on: January 01, 2016, 04:27:36 PM »

^^ Another one in Green Bay: https://www.google.com/maps/@44.5249833,-88.0892947,3a,75y,7.03h,76.94t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sCbe9JUZaXVcWYd9jakNIrw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656  Worse is that if you want to go straight (though not many do), your only option is the middle shared lane where you may be stuck behind someone trying to make a left turn.  There is a sign there saying left turn yield on green.
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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #48 on: January 01, 2016, 04:33:52 PM »

Here's another one: https://goo.gl/maps/nwaCg11bp5H2

Is that a permitted left though? Looks like it could be a split phase setup just using 5-aspect heads, due to the shared lane... In street view, it only shows as either red or green arrow+ball (with red for opposing traffic) in all time views, so this seems like a split phase.

If it is a permitted setup, that's rarely a good idea to have a protected/permitted left with a shared lane...that can hinder throughput.

It's very much a permitted setup with a green for the other direction.  I've been through it many, many times, but it's never all that busy.
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Re: Dual Permissive Left Turns (FYA or Doghouse)
« Reply #49 on: January 01, 2016, 04:53:29 PM »

Here's another one: https://goo.gl/maps/nwaCg11bp5H2

Is that a permitted left though? Looks like it could be a split phase setup just using 5-aspect heads, due to the shared lane... In street view, it only shows as either red or green arrow+ball (with red for opposing traffic) in all time views, so this seems like a split phase.

If it is a permitted setup, that's rarely a good idea to have a protected/permitted left with a shared lane...that can hinder throughput.

It's very much a permitted setup with a green for the other direction.  I've been through it many, many times, but it's never all that busy.

Does the signal ever display the green ball alone without the arrow? I didn't see evidence of this in Street View.
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