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Friday, January 18, 2013
Magan Reed, WSDOT communications, 360-905-2056 (Vancouver)
Signals to ease congestion at busy state highway intersections
VANCOUVER – The new year is bringing new technology to major intersections in Woodland and Castle Rock.
Starting Wednesday, Jan. 23, crews with the Washington State Department of Transportation will replace existing traffic signals with new signals that include a flashing yellow arrow (FYA). These signals will be installed at the following locations:
- SR 503, westbound left turn to southbound I-5
- SR 503, eastbound left turn to Pacific Avenue
- SR 503, eastbound left turn to Atlantic Avenue
- SR 504, eastbound left turn to northbound I-5
- SR 504, eastbound and westbound left turns to Old Pacific Highway
- SR 411, westbound left turn to southbound I-5
Nationwide and statewide studies show that installing FYA signals at low-volume, low-speed intersections reduces congestion and keeps traffic from backing up into the through lanes when the left-turn lane is full. The signals will look and work differently than traditional signals, but drivers will see improved functionality and congestion relief after they are installed.
“Nothing changes for a red, green and steady yellow arrow that drivers are used to,” said WSDOT Traffic Engineer Chad Hancock. “The flashing yellow arrow just gives drivers extra notice that they can still turn left, but have to yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.”
WSDOT installed these signals along routes in Camas in 2008 and Long Beach the following year. Two intersections in Raymond have been identified as low-volume, low-speed intersections that would benefit from FYA signals. WSDOT plans to install FYA signals at those locations by the end of the year.
The signals cost approximately $2,000 per intersection and are funded through WSDOT’s low-cost safety enhancement program.
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