Far-East El Paso drivers now have an additional light to help them drive safer, as the city’s first flashing yellow signal is now operational. The signal is located on Alameda at Walmart, near Loop 375.
It has a four section signal head that includes four arrows: steady green for protected left turns; steady yellow to have drivers prepare to stop; red for stop, and flashing yellow to let drivers know left turns are allowed, but they must yield to oncoming traffic.
“El Paso is the last Texas metropolitan area to implement a signal of this type,” said TxDOT El Paso District Engineer Bob Bielek. “It is important that we phase into the state and national standards as we begin new projects. Most importantly, research has shown that this new signal is safer, more efficient and a more consistent approach for left-turn lanes than traditional signals.”
Flashing yellow arrow left-turn signals are a new standard for signals. Left hand turns have historically been identified as one of the most challenging actions a driver can undertake.
Left turn signals have been designed to let drivers know when they can safely turn across oncoming traffic, but the wide variety to types of signals used across the country can be confusing.
The addition is part of TxDOT’s Alameda project that involves operational, pedestrian and drainage improvements on Alameda from Loop 375 (Americas Ave.) to Presa. The project started last summer and is expected to be complete in spring 2019.
This new flashing yellow signal is the first of three that are part of the project. Intersections at Alameda and Carnes and Alameda and Presa will have them in the future.
TxDOT maintains signals at 54 intersections outside city limits. This flashing yellow signal was installed by TxDOT, but will be maintained by The City of El Paso.