New turning arrow to help traffic flow at intersection in Amarillo

New turning arrow to help traffic flow at intersection in Amarillo

Amarillo, TX - Drivers will now notice a new turning arrow at the intersection of Hillside and Western in Amarillo.

The Flashing Yellow Arrow was installed this morning and the city hopes it makes the intersection safer for drivers.

This brings up the question, "What should you do at a 'Flashing Yellow Arrow?'"

" Turn very slowly," said Amarillo Driver Devin Robinson.

"I've never seen a Flashing Yellow Turn Arrow, but I would pull up to it and stop, and then yield and then go if there were no cars," Amarillo Driver Jason Barrett said.

The last answer is correct, during a Flashing Yellow Arrow cars should yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians before making a left turn.

The new turn arrow is part of a new five lens traffic light.

While in a turn lane...first drivers will see a green arrow which indicates to turn, followed by a solid yellow arrow indicating the driver should prepare to stop.

Then the red arrow will flash up for just a second to inform drivers they no longer have a protected left turn.

After the brief red arrow, the Flashing Yellow Arrow will come on telling drivers they may turn left as long as they yield for oncoming traffic and pedestrians.

While this Flashing Yellow Arrow is the first in Amarillo, the City says they are not sure when more will be added.

"We plan to go towards that, but at this point in time we are limited to the number of controllers and conflict monitors that will support this operation," said Jerry Bird who is the City Traffic Engineer for the City of Amarillo.

The City says these types of signals allow more turning opportunities for drivers and reduce turning wait times, which will keep traffic moving.

As for if drivers think this new signal will help or confuse drivers...

"Nah, I think there's already enough confused traffic in Amarillo, I don't think it will add anymore," Robinson said.

The City explains the Flashing Yellow Arrow will be a more direct message to drivers to yield and will hopefully reduce driver confusion.