Greeley to Receive Traffic Signals with Flashing Yellow Arrows

January 10, 2013 - TRAFFIC ADVISORY - Northeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 4 - New signals expected to improve safety and cost-effectiveness.

WELD COUNTY — In the coming weeks, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will be installing new traffic signals in Greeley at the intersections 5th Street, 8th Street, and 16th Street and US 85. The new signals will be among the first on the Eastern Plains that will use a flashing yellow arrow instead of simply a steady green or yellow light for left hand turns.

In the coming months, all new signals installed in Greeley will feature the flashing yellow arrow. Old signals without the flashing yellow arrow will remain in use until they require replacement by the newer signals. Traffic signals with flashing yellow arrows are a new safety standard across the country, and are a recommended practice because they have been shown to reduce the occurrence of accidents since the flashing arrow more effectively alerts motorists to check for oncoming traffic, bicyclists, or pedestrians before completing a turn.

Here’s how the flashing yellow arrows work: When motorists approach an intersection to turn left, the signal will alert them to do one of four things based on the color of the light and whether or not the light is flashing:

  1. A steady green arrow indicates a protected turn with traffic stopped on the other side of the intersection.
  2. A flashing yellow arrow instructs motorists to yield to traffic and pedestrians before completing the turn.
  3. A steady yellow arrow indicates that motorists should prepare to stop or safely clear the intersection.
  4. A steady red arrow indicates that the motorist should come to a complete stop and no turns are allowed.

Among the list of the new signals’ numerous benefits include the facts that they:

  • Draw motorists’ attention more effectively than no arrow at all or a solid left turn arrow, which increases the safety of turns for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike.
  • Are less expensive to maintain since they have fewer bulbs.
  • Can be customized based on traffic volume to maximize the number of turns allowed in each cycle and to prevent congestion. This feature is especially helpful during rush hour.

For more information about these innovative flashing yellow arrow signals, please refer to the city of Boulder’s flashing yellow arrow animation, at and attached is an image of a flashing yellow signal.

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