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Flashing Yellow Arrows Coming to Arlington Intersections

Flashing yellow light diagram (via Arlington County)Arlington County will be installing new traffic signals, featuring a blinking yellow arrow, along certain high-traffic roadways.

The flashing yellow signals will replace the familiar left turn signal with unblinking green and yellow arrows.

The older signals run from green arrow, to yellow arrow, to a solid green light, followed by a solid red. They’re accompanied by a metal sign that says “left turn yield on green.”

The new signals will run from a green arrow to a flashing yellow arrow, then to a steady yellow arrow followed by a red arrow. A sign with the words “left turn yield on flashing yellow arrow” will be placed next to the signal.

“The blinking yellow arrows help motorists know when to yield to oncoming traffic while attempting a left turn and support recommendations from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program,” according to a county press release. “Studies show that the flashing arrow signal is better understood by drivers than the more common circular green and yellow lights.”

“The flashing yellow arrow has been proven to increase compliance and reduce collisions. It’s already in use in other parts of Virginia,” the press release continues. “The new signals also provide traffic engineers with more flexibility in the way left turns are directed if traffic conditions change.”

Arlington will initially be installing the new signals along parts of Arlington Blvd, Glebe Road and Lee Highway, at a cost of $60,000. Additional installations are expected to follow.

VDOT is currently installing the new signals in parts of southern Virginia.

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