Stacy Londrey 540-727-3201
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Will Merritt 540-829-7370
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CULP 2015-108

Nov. 20, 2015

Updated traffic signals aim to improve safety of left turns, provide programming flexibility

CULPEPER — In the coming weeks, the Virginia Department of Transportation will install new traffic signals at four local intersections to improve safety and efficiency for drivers making left turns.

The new signals use a flashing yellow arrow instead of a solid green ball to indicate that drivers may turn left after yielding to oncoming traffic.

Installation of flashing yellow arrow signals will occur overnight on Tuesday, Nov. 24, weather permitting, at two intersections in Culpeper County:

  • Route 229 at Route 729/Route 694 (Ira Hoffman Lane)
  • Route 229 at Route 9537 (Achievement Drive), the entrance to Culpeper County High School – southbound only

Two installations will occur in Orange County during the week of Nov. 30:

  • Route 3 at Route 708 (Somerset Ridge Road) in Wilderness – eastbound only
  • Route 20 at Route 522 in Unionville

Traffic disruption will be minimal, but motorists are asked to be mindful of workers near the roadway and obey lane closures and other traffic controls.

Five flashing yellow arrow signals are currently in other parts of central Virginia, including two in Albemarle County; two on Route 29 in Fauquier County; and one at Route 15/29 Business and Route 666 (Braggs Corner Road) in Culpeper. Other locations will be considered as funding becomes available.

A 2003 national study found the flashing yellow arrow more clearly communicates a message of caution than the solid green ball, and as a result, reduces the risk of left turn-related crashes.

The flashing yellow arrow also provides an important behind-the-scenes benefit: operational flexibility. With this type of signal, VDOT can make changes to the order in which traffic proceeds, as well as adjust the timing of the left-turn movement based on traffic volumes during busier times of day. Doing so helps VDOT maximize the flow of traffic.

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Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Nov. 20, 2015