Flashing Yellow Arrows (FYAs) are taking off in Minnesota and around the country. Jane and I are big fans of the converted signal by our house at Highway 100 and Minnetonka Boulevard.
The FYAs in Minnesota have four indications as shown in the picture on the right. The Federal Highway Administration recently issued an interim approval to use three sections instead of four. The middle section will have the yellow indication and will also have the flashing arrow. It will be a “bi-modal” indication.
This interim approval is based on a research study that indicates drivers should be able to comprehend this configuration. This study was done with driver simulation’s though. I hope agencies will install a few of these so research can be done to determine if the three section FYA operates as well as the four section FYA.
Hopefully the three section signal head is proven to work well. It will save money and make converting existing protected left turn heads to FYA even simpler. Especially if signal controller technology is updated so this change can be accommodated all with software.
Kudos to FHWA for quickly jumping on the latest research and leveraging technology!