Changes are coming to a heavily trafficked stretch of road in Butler County. The Ohio Department of Transportation is installing flashing yellow arrows for left-turn lanes along S.R. 747 from Devitt Drive to Tylersville Road in West Chester.
"This is the first ODOT corridor statewide to receive this particular type of treatment," says Kathleen Fuller, public information officer, who notes these signals used by various municipalities in Ohio but never before by ODOT.
Fuller says nine intersections along S.R. 747 will get the new signals. Installation is slated to begin Tuesday, April 14. It will take several days to activate all the signals, depending on weather.
This is a pilot project and ODOT will monitor the corridor for possible expansion elsewhere. The testing phase will likely be extended because of the coronavirus pandemic and its affect on traffic levels.
The purpose of the flashing yellow turn arrows is to improve safety while keeping traffic flowing. They replace the traditional green ball light. The agency says flashing yellow arrows are proven to reduce left-turn crashes by 40%.
"The flashing yellow arrow will indicate that a motorist may turn left only when there is no oncoming traffic and crosswalks are clear of pedestrians and bicyclists. When the yellow arrow is solid or it's not flashing, motorists must then stop and not proceed into the intersection to turn left. Basically, this is just another way to give drivers more opportunities to turn left and to keep traffic moving at the different times of the day."
ODOT traffic counts the average daily traffic on S.R. 747 between Tylersville and Devitt at between 22,000 and 30,000, with numbers being higher at intersections closer to I-275.
How It Works
The flashing yellow arrow means drivers should proceed with caution if there's no oncoming traffic and crosswalks are clear. Opposing traffic has a green light and the right of way, ODOT says. You shouldn't turn if the yellow arrow is solid. The traffic light includes a sensor to understand how traffic is flowing.
Green and red arrows work as expected.
Here's a video from ODOT explaining how the flashing yellow arrow heads work.