More safety features to be added at intersections

Improvements will be made to three Texarkana, Texas intersections during the coming year, according to plans approved this month by the Texas Department of Transportation.
“The signal lights at the intersections of US 71 (State Line Avenue) at US 67 (7th Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) and at 19th Street will be upgraded to add a new feature—a flashing yellow arrow light,” said Rebecca Wells, district traffic engineer for TxDOT in Atlanta. “The left-turn signals will have a green arrow, a flashing yellow arrow, a steady yellow arrow and a red arrow.
“A steady green arrow means motorists can safely make a left turn as oncoming traffic has a red light. A flashing yellow arrow means left turns are allowed, but turning motorists must yield to oncoming traffic which now has a green light. A steady yellow arrow means prepare to stop, and a steady red arrow, of course, means stop,” Wells said.
The flashing yellow arrow replaces the solid green ball light which meant the same thing, but sometimes confused drivers who thought they still had a protected left turn.
The flashing yellow arrow signals are the result of a nationwide study by the Federal Highway Administration that amended the federal standards for left-turn signals. 
The signals will also have video cameras attached to computerized systems that identifies when traffic is approaching the intersection and will change the signal lights accordingly in order to move traffic more efficiently.
“We will also be installing pedestrian crosswalks with activation buttons and wheel chair ramps at each intersection,” said Wells.
Texas Traffic Control Systems of Dike, Tx. was awarded the contract for these traffic control projects with a bid of $435,855.
Work on the projects should begin in February of next year and take about 10 months to complete, Wells said.

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