Advertisement

Archive for Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Light cues

In case you didn’t get the message about yielding to oncoming traffic : just watch the blinking yellow light.

October 29, 2008

Advertisement

A new left-turn signal for traffic on Louisiana Street, turning east onto 19th Street displays a flashing yellow and then solid yellow for left turns. Signals like this are the first in Lawrence and are supposed to be easier for motorists to understand.

A new left-turn signal for traffic on Louisiana Street, turning east onto 19th Street displays a flashing yellow and then solid yellow for left turns. Signals like this are the first in Lawrence and are supposed to be easier for motorists to understand.

Lawrence traffic officials always want to be on the cutting edge, but just how badly does Lawrence need blinking yellow left-turn arrows to guide drivers at a number of local intersections?

Lawrence is the first community in Kansas to be authorized by federal highway officials to use the flashing signals, which are designed to replace the familiar "LEFT TURN YIELD ON GREEN" signs. Just in case motorists didn't get what that sign means, the new signals offer some new - if unfamiliar and somewhat confusing - cues.

The left-turn arrows turn from green to a solid yellow when oncoming traffic is about to get a green light. It turns to flashing yellow to indicate that left turns are allowed - but you still, as the sign used to say, must yield to oncoming traffic. Then it turns back to solid yellow before turning to red to complete the cycle.

If motorists simply stop in confusion when faced with the blinking yellow light, that's OK, according to the city's traffic engineer; it's safer than making a left turn anyway. Of course, this is the same office that brought us the ever-popular traffic-calming structures, expansion of which has been mercifully put on hold by budget concerns.

The cost of installing the arrows at 19th and Louisiana Street and a few other locations pales by comparison to the huge expense the city faces to fix its deteriorating streets, but it makes us wonder about some of the spending decisions of city officials.

Comments

Thats_messed_up 6 years, 1 month ago

You people should see the huge WASTE OF TAXPAYER MONEY that is the new roundabout-for-no-reason on O'Connell road just a few hundred yards from the first huge roundabout. There is absolutely NO REASON for this money WASTING roundabout!!!!!! Check it out- You'll be pissed!!! I bet it cost a hundred grand!

mikeisthename 6 years, 1 month ago

This traffic light is a new trick for an old dog. The younger drivers can grasp this concept better only if they want to do so. Common sense is necessary as well, but lots of book sense students come to Lawrence every year. They throw common sense out the window like it was a used cigarette butt. Such is life.

Ragingbear 6 years, 1 month ago

All college kids moving to Lawrence need to take a road test. Penalty for gross reckless driving should include a suspension of your DL for not less than 1 year. Lawrence Drivers are more dangerous, erratic, unpredictable and scary than the Loop is in Chicago. It's insane. And just try being on a scooter or something instead of a car. They just act like you aren't there, and try to occupy the spot on the road that you are currently on.Meanwhile, a cop was driving erratically the other day down 6th street. When he passed by me, I saw that he was on his cell phone.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 1 month ago

Driving safely involves being able to anticipate what other drivers are going to be doing. Any additional bit of information about that is going to add to the safety of the roads, and that's exactly what this accomplishes.As for color blind drivers, this may not be as helpful to them, because it doesn't really change much from their perspective. So while it may not help them, neither does it hurt them.

nobody1793 6 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps the DMV could put a question on the license exam: Are you a moron? If you answer yes, no drivey-drivey.

SMe 6 years, 1 month ago

Educated fools - not the posters the idiots that came up with this idea.

mom_of_three 6 years, 1 month ago

I travel 19th & Lousiana daily, and the new light seems to be working well. I was a little confused the first time I saw it, because it was different, but haven't seen any wrecks there so far. And all the other drivers seem to be coping just fine as well.

pissedinlawrence 6 years, 1 month ago

omg, please dont waste money on this, it wont matter if you live in lawrence or not, everyone will be confused, what a stupid idea. this will make the ticked off drivers even more crazy!!! this town is such a joke

Chris Ogle 6 years, 1 month ago

Typical spending habits of our "taxed out" city. And they wonder why they always need more, and more of our money.

justforfun 6 years, 1 month ago

You must be shtng me!!! This even sounds kinda confusing. So lets put it at an intersection that has thousands of cars driven by high school kids and college students on a daily basis. only thing better would have been a roundabout that you drive to the left on!!Can't wait to see how this works!!! LMFAO

lawrencian 6 years, 1 month ago

I saw lights like this in Missouri this weekend, and they were very helpful, and easy to see. There is still a sign saying to yield when it is flashing yellow, though.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 1 month ago

This sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Will there be a learning curve for drivers? Sure. But if that were a good reason for not adopting new traffic control measures, we'd have the same traffic laws and control devices that existed for the horses and buggies that dominated our streets a hundred years ago.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 1 month ago

"The cost of installing the arrows at 19th and Louisiana Street and a few other locations pales by comparison to the huge expense the city faces to fix its deteriorating streets, but it makes us wonder about some of the spending decisions of city officials." Really, now!!City officials in Lawrence have been long-time confused by having to look outside to see if it is daylight! These confused dolts cannot make any decisions without the city manager and his "staff" hold their pasty white hands and lead them to the "correct" decisions. They are only elected by their ability to buy enough yard signs to get enough votes. They ignore information about criminal misconduct in a city department. They do not represent any segment of the city, only the city "at large". Meaning absolutely nothing. They are clueless, gutless, disconnected from reality and only want to sit and pontificate on television each week for all to see and marvel over. If you expect to get any sensible and reasonable decisions or plans from this distraught group, you better return to your home planet, because you ain't gonna see any of that here, not in Lawrence, no in littl ole' Larryville on the Kaw.

Bubarubu 6 years, 1 month ago

There should be some justification for this change. That drivers can be educated to understand it is not sufficient to justify making the change at all. How is this system safer or more efficient than the yield on green?

jgm 6 years, 1 month ago

No! No! This is stupid! Everywhere else flashing yellow means you have the right-of-way. And here it means yield? How clueless can they be?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.