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East Market Street: Flashing yellow left-turn signals explained
New flashing yellow left-turn traffic signals along East Market Street are expected to reduce crashes in Spring Garden and Springettsbury townships, according to the state Department of Transportation.
Temporary signs have been notifying motorists of the new signals, which are in place from Harrison Street at the York City/Spring Garden boundary to Mount Zion Road in Springettsbury Township.
The flashing yellow signals "more clearly identify when drivers may yield to oncoming traffic to turn left, replacing the circular solid green signal used in the 5-section signal heads,” according to a Springettsbury Township statement.
"This corridor of East Market Street saw a high frequency of accidents, and with the installation of flashing yellow turn signals, timers can be set to turn off the flashing yellow turn signal to prevent drivers from yielding to oncoming traffic when it may not be safe due to high volume of traffic,” according to a notice on PennDOT's website.
“The flashing yellow arrow also keeps traffic moving by offering more opportunities to make left turns," the department stated. "Drivers may be offered a flashing yellow arrow when oncoming traffic has solid green signals, providing an opportunity for a driver to yield when it is safe to make a left turn, a situation that did not occur with the prior system.”
The signals use Adaptive Signal Technology, which evaluates traffic patterns by collecting data to determine how long lights should remain green, according to PennDOT. The signal technology then implements signal-timing updates.
“This process is repeated every few minutes to keep traffic flowing and occurs automatically; continually updating signal timing,” PennDOT states. “The systems at intersections along East Market Street are connected and can share data with each system so that the signals are functioning with one another. Depending on the time of day, drivers may notice different signal-timing patterns that are working to move traffic in the best manner possible.”
Springettsbury Township said other upgrades in the area include Americans with Disabilities Act improvements, the extension of the eastbound left-turn lane at Memory Lane, the installation of bicycle-safe storm grates and new signs and pavement markings.