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Statewide Interim Approval for Optional Use of Three SectionFlashing Yellow Arrow Signal Faces

by Airton G. Kohls (Source FHWA)

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has received interim approval for optional use of the Three Section Flashing Yellow Arrow Signal Faces statewide in Tennessee, including State highways and all local jurisdictions' roadways. Any local jurisdiction desiring to use the Three Section Flashing Yellow Arrow Signal Faces will need to coordinate with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) State Traffic Engineer. FHWA requires TDOT to maintain and periodically update a list of all the locations where this traffic control device is used.

It is important to notice that this interim approval refers to the optional use of the Three Section Flashing Yellow Arrow (FYA) Signal that use the middle section to show both the FYA and the steady yellow arrow.

Background

In 2014, FHWA approved the optional use of the Three Section Flashing Yellow Arrow Signal Faces that use the middle section to show both the FYA and the steady yellow arrow based on an NCHRP research titled "Evaluation of the Flashing Yellow Arrow (FYA) Permissive Left-Turn and Yellow Arrow Change Indications in Protected/Permissive Left- Turn Control: The Impact of Separate and Shared Yellow Signal Sections and Head Arrangements" and on recommendation from the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD). The NCHRP Web-Only Document 207 can be found at:
http://www.ltap.org/login/resource/entryupload/uploads/1742658608_resources_20150107150622NCHRP%20Report%20207.pdf

The primary advantage of allowing the optional use of a three-section FYA signal face that uses the middle section to show the FYA and the steady yellow arrow is that existing three-section protectedonly left-turn signal faces could easily be converted to three-section FYA signal faces. This conversion would allow the use of variable mode left-turn phasing on approach, with the protected-only leftturn phasing mode being used during peak periods when gaps in opposing traffic are infrequent and the protected/permissive left-turn phasing mode being used during off-peak periods when gaps in opposing traffic are more plentiful.

The city of Cleveland, TN has installed the 3-section FYA and provides videos for the operation of the signals in their website:
http://www.clevelandutilities.com/Traffic/FYA_info.htm


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