A flashing yellow turn arrow means what? - Albuquerque Journal

A flashing yellow turn arrow means what?

ALMOST HIT ON A FLASHING YELLOW TURN: Linnea Sands asks in an email “what does that flashing yellow arrow mean” on the left turn from westbound Alameda onto Fourth Street?

Linnea explains “recently, I was in the intersection waiting to turn left when the traffic light turned yellow. Thinking I’d better clear the intersection quickly, I initiated a left turn. To my horror, vehicles going eastbound on Alameda did not stop and there was almost an accident. My guess is that many drivers don’t know how to interpret that flashing yellow. Could you clear it up?”

SIGNALS EXPENSIVE, CONFUSING: And Elizabeth Buchen adds “flashing yellow turn arrows are a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, and they may even lead to confusion that could potentially be dangerous. The simple solution would be just to remove the red-turn arrow. Then drivers could turn with the right of way on a green arrow or turn after yielding to oncoming traffic with a green light as they always have. There is no need for the city of Albuquerque to install expensive and confusing new signals just because Santa Fe did it.”

WHAT THE TURN SIGNALS MEAN: A few years ago a city of Albuquerque spokesman explained in this column “the flashing yellow turn arrow is an additional educational reminder to motorists that oncoming traffic has a green light and left-hand turns are permitted only after oncoming traffic, cyclists and pedestrians have cleared the intersection.”

A flashing yellow essentially means go when it’s safe.

WHERE THEY ARE, MORE ARE COMING: Scott Cilke with the city of Albuquerque’s Department of Municipal Development has said the city has installed flashing yellow arrows at several intersections, including on Dennis Chavez, on Coors at 98th, and along Alameda in the general vicinity of Balloon Fiesta Park. And despite the concerns voiced by drivers like Elizabeth, he said “they will become more commonplace in the future as they are the city’s new standard on all new signals. However, due to their high cost, the city won’t install them on existing signals but rather install them gradually as signals are replaced.”

SUNPORT EXTENDING TO SECOND STREET: Jeff Hartzer asks in an email “when is the Sunport extension to Second Street due to open?”

Antonio E. Jaramillo, director of operations and maintenance for Bernalillo County, says “the county is the agency that is spearheading the construction of the Sunport extension. As part of this project we have two separate bridge structures that have already been installed, and the paving for the project is ongoing and should be finalized soon. We have also secured an artist to implement a piece of her work for the corridor. We anticipate the project to be substantially complete by mid- to late June.”

LA BAJADA SIGNS UP, SILOS GONE: Gary E. Cordova emails that after a recent column, “the double-fine zone signs are now very visible in both directions” in the Interstate 25 construction zone up La Bajada just south of Santa Fe.

“Thank you. (Now,) the tall structures and large tanks are gone. What was their purpose?”

Jim Murray, public information officer of the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s District 5 Office, spoke with the manager of the almost $40 million interstate rebuild that’s in great part to shore up the soil and keep lanes from sliding down the hill. He learned those structures/tanks “are the cement silos for the soil-mixing shafts. They were moved off site to finish the southbound lanes and will return when they start working on the northbound lanes.”

That project is scheduled to last through November 2024.

Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858; dwestphal@abqjournal.com; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109.

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