Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Charlotte's Flashing Yellow Arrows (Face Palm)

Charlotte's city leaders in another amazing example of brilliance have been replacing green lights with "Yellow Flashing Arrows" at intersections that have left turn protected/permissive settings.

The flashing "Yellow Arrow" means it is OK to turn left just use caution. But to Charlotte's seniors its an accident bound to happen.

Carmel and Colony got the "upgrade" a few months ago but the Sunday Church crowd hasn't quite figured it out yet.

You see, older folks who are pretty much set in their ways see the yellow light suddenly appear and lock up the binders, as one did last Sunday, causing yours truly to nearly eat the ass end of a big old Buick.

I had to take a deep breath and remind myself that the sudden break check was sent my way by someones grandmother. A smile and a wave is all they got from Cedar Posts.

Other cities have taken to YouTube to explain the change but Charlotte's geniuses have decided an informational graphic is "good enough". The City of Charlotte Graphic is here.

Just goes to show you "new and improved" is not necessarily better.


Anonymous said...

You think THAT is bad trying getting off on Westinghouse to take a right! It used to be there were TWO lanes to take that right! But not so anymore, specifically in the afternoons.! They have replaced the two "right" turn lanes w/an arrow in the middle lane now that points to the left! WTF?

It is bad enough you can go down ONE road that has FIVE different names!

What the hell happened to common sense in our city/town? Oh, yeah, it was replaced by money and the down trodden greed!

Anonymous said...

They've put those up at Central/Eastway and Central/Kilborne, and they've already been shown to have been the cause of several accidents. Great idea CDOT!

Anonymous said...

It really does not ever get any better. These signals seem to be the latest flavor of whatever from the traffic engineer geniuses; my city has had them for a year or more.

For the young-enough-to-never-have-seen-much-else it might be fine. For us older types there is not any difference sometimes between flashing yellow and steady yellow; not good from any perspective.

Full stop because there is yellow on the light and the guy behind is caught short; don't stop because there is yellow on the light and it goes red as your car enters the intersection. In a hurry or not paying more attention to the light than to other traffic: loose-loose.

Some red lights have a timer flashing a countdown to when the light will change. That is much better.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Cedar for all the garbage you blog about, this is good info.

I honestly didn't know what to think of the light at Carmel and Colony, I thought is was broken.

Dumb me!

Anonymous said...

Your demonstration video is easy.

In my home area there are six lanes of through traffic and at main intersections as many as 6 more turn lanes. The new 'arrow' signals are in two separate arrays of three or four lights in each array. Then for whatever reason, the left turn reverses from time to time during the day. One direction makes a left turn with through traffic at the start of green while traffic going the other way waits for a left turn at the end of the cycle. Some lights change that up even more. Never know quite what to expect from one intersection to the next or day to day. Some kind of signal blinking single or double arrows all the time.

My jurisdiction mailed everyone a letter telling about it.

The traffic signal manufacturers need all the new business, help the economy and all that. Wait about five years and it will all come down and something else will be put in its place.

Anonymous said...

Traffic engineers and road builders are basically trying to outlaw left turns across oncoming traffic. They slow down flow and are dangerous.

You watch -- in our lifetimes it will become accepted to make drivers take a series of right turns in order to go left.

Ghoul said...

Its not just Charlotte, the DOT put up the flashing yellow turn signals in Indian Trail, right in the middle of afternoon rush hour. Nothing like the hour drive home turning into a 2.5 hour drive home. Does anyone at the DOT realize people go home from work between 5 and 7PM? Probably not since they leave at 3PM. Why could they not change the lights at 1PM, or overnight?

Anonymous said...

The flashing yellow arrows make possible the variation in whether left turns go before (lead) or after (lag) oncoming traffic. Being able to do that makes it possible to progress green lights on more two-way streets. Progressed signals turn green as you come to them while driving straight ahead on the progressed street. So it saves gasoline and time.