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Old 11-06-2010, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Greer
1,605 posts, read 2,013,141 times
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I have never seen this before outside of Charlotte. At first I had no idea what it meant. Turning arrows on stop lights usually mean that (when green, or briefly yellow) you have the right of way, that oncoming traffic has a red light. So, I assumed that opposing traffic had a red light and I could go. But it does not mean this at all!

As far as I can tell, a flashing yellow left turn arrow means the same thing as a plain old green light: You can turn left after waiting for opposing traffic to clear. Does anyone else think this is extremely unclear and dangerous?
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Old 11-06-2010, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Charlotte
2,447 posts, read 6,636,204 times
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I don't think it's unclear at all. My understanding is:
  • When it's a steady green arrow oncoming traffic has a red light
  • When the light turns to a flashing yellow oncoming traffic has a green light. As you said- yield and turn when it's clear.
  • When the light turns to a steady yellow, it lets you know your light is going to turn red. The light for oncoming traffic may turn as well or it may stay green,

I do agree it can very dangerous and have seen a few close calls.
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:14 PM
 
11,836 posts, read 25,411,553 times
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I've almost been hit at Carmel & Hwy 51 by someone who couldn't figure out that I had the right of way. I think they have merit but putting them at some of the busiest intersections is courting disaster.
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Old 11-06-2010, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Greer
1,605 posts, read 2,013,141 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCgirl View Post
I don't think it's unclear at all. My understanding is:
  • When it's a steady green arrow oncoming traffic has a red light
  • When the light turns to a flashing yellow oncoming traffic has a green light. As you said- yield and turn when it's clear.
  • When the light turns to a steady yellow, it lets you know your light is going to turn red. The light for oncoming traffic may turn as well or it may stay green,

I do agree it can very dangerous and have seen a few close calls.
When there's a regular yellow arrow (after a green arrow), the oncoming traffic (still) has a red light. When there's a flashing yellow arrow, the oncoming traffic has a green light. That's a distinction I think you can only know from previous experience driving in Charlotte.

edit: Apparently this is a new national standard as of September. http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=308&Item id=1198 (broken link)


Here's some more information: http://projects.kittelson.com/pplt/L...out/Learn3.htm

It took me a while to understand why it was necessary, I can see why it is, but I still think it's confusing if it hasn't been explained to you.

Last edited by gvsteve; 11-06-2010 at 05:16 PM..
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:19 PM
 
Location: The 12th State
22,974 posts, read 58,412,675 times
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I notice this new dangerous occurrence in various North Carolina cities around the state.
It works ok in Lincolnton where the traffic volume is less after reading post above seeing this is probably a federal mandate; I cannot figure the logic in why the feds feel this is a better option over just leaving light solid green and yellow.
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Lake Norman, NC
7,179 posts, read 11,180,519 times
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For the life of me I can't see why they don't have a standard green arrow when cars are waiting to turn left and the traffic light cycles. Going right to a flashing yellow is dangerous! Congrat's to the pinhead bureaucrat that mandated this.
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:05 PM
 
1,343 posts, read 2,910,403 times
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The flashing yellow gives you the opportunity to turn left if traffic is clear. How frustrating is it to sit there at a red arrow waiting and waiting for that green arrow when there is no oncoming traffic? You still get the solid green arrow for a brief period of time, and you should have the right of way when there is a green arrow. But in other parts of the country they typically just have a green light(and no red arrow) which tells you that you can go straight or turn left if traffic is clear. Then you may get a left green arrow when you have the right of way turning left, but no red arrow.
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:15 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
572 posts, read 1,401,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripes17 View Post
For the life of me I can't see why they don't have a standard green arrow when cars are waiting to turn left and the traffic light cycles. Going right to a flashing yellow is dangerous! Congrat's to the pinhead bureaucrat that mandated this.
^This.

A flashing yellow light has ALWAYS meant slow down.

An arrow has ALWAYS meant that you have right of way.

So naturally a flashing yellow arrow would mean that you need to slow down but you can proceed slowly because you have the right of way. What they need is a flashing RED BALL, indicating stop and then proceed when there is no oncoming traffic.

They'll get around to fixing the problem after a few dozen people get killed.
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:25 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
21,813 posts, read 27,068,128 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripes17 View Post
For the life of me I can't see why they don't have a standard green arrow when cars are waiting to turn left and the traffic light cycles. Going right to a flashing yellow is dangerous! Congrat's to the pinhead bureaucrat that mandated this.
Makes jughandles look pretty darned good, doesn't it?
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:34 PM
 
11,836 posts, read 25,411,553 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Travel View Post
They'll get around to fixing the problem after a few dozen people get killed.
That's what I was thinking too.
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