Washington County Produces New Video to Help Drivers Navigate through Flashing Yellow Arrows

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sponsored by: Department of Land Use and Transportation

Washington County's Department of Land Use and Transportation is supervising the installation of 372 bimodal Flashing Yellow Arrows (FYA's) at 174 key intersections throughout the county.  A new, short video has been posted on the county's website at http://www.youtube.com/WashingtonCntyOregon.  It takes viewers inside a moving vehicle to show what to look for from the driver's point of view – oncoming traffic, pedestrians, bikes, etc. 

Signal Construction Group, LLC of Woodburn is installing the bimodal flashing yellow arrows with funding provided by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  All work is scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2010, at a total project cost of $485,000. 

Engineer Stacy Shetler explains his colleagues are excited because they know the FYA's can help traffic flow more efficiently. But some drivers are a little hesitant when they see one, and are not exactly sure what to do. The video should help drivers use FYA's safely.  Stacy explains, "If you are waiting to turn left and you see a flashing yellow left-turn arrow, it means turns are permitted, but first you must yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.  Before entering the intersection, look left and look straight ahead.  Is there any oncoming traffic?  Any pedestrians?  Any bicyclists??  If not, be cautious, go ahead and make your left turn.  After it flashes, the flashing yellow left-turn arrow then becomes the better-known steady yellow left-turn arrow. The steady yellow left-turn arrow means what it has always meant: stop, if you can do so safely."

County Traffic Engineer Tom Tushner says, "The ARRA funds which are part of the federal economic stimulus program that were used for this project made it possible for the County to accelerate the installation FYAs, thus improving the flow and reducing the delay at traffic signals in Washington County."  For more information, please contact luttraffic@co.washington.or.us

Media Contact:

Anne Madden, Sr. Program Educator