New signal heads coming

  • Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Motorists in Mount Pleasant will soon see a new style left-turn traffic signal head that will improve safety and visibility.

The Town of Mount Pleasant Transportation Department, in cooperation with SCDOT, plans to install what is commonly called a “Flashing Yellow Arrow” (FYA) left-turn signal head at the following locations:

– US 17 at Venning Road/Mathis Ferry Road

– Hungryneck Boulevard at Venning Road

The installation will occur the week of June 16, weather permitting, with the Ben Sawyer Boulevard and Rifle Range Road/McCants Drive intersection being upgraded shortly thereafter.

The FYA signal heads will gradually be installed at all signal locations and will represent the new standard for signalized left-turn lanes. The signal serves the left-turn lane only and has a flashing yellow arrow display, which indicates left turns are permitted, but drivers must use caution and yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. It improves efficiency and reduces crashes at signalized intersections by making it easier for drivers to recognize when to make a left-turn.

“It will be a very visible indication in your lane that will give you a cue on what to do,” said Carol Jones, SCDOT's Traffic Signal and Systems Engineer. “So many times as you're getting further out in the intersection waiting to turn, you have to look far to the right to see what the signal light is doing. Having this type of signal head in your left turn lane will give you better visibility on what to do and at what point. It's all about visibility, and that translates into improved safety.”

The three-section FYI signal will be utilized at locations that have permitted-only left-turns and a four-section FYA signal will replace the “five-section cluster” style signal head currently used for protected and permitted phasing.

The four-section head differs from the three-section head in that it has a solid green arrow displayed at the bottom during the protected portion of the signal phase. Four-section heads have (from top to bottom), a solid red arrow, a solid yellow arrow, a flashing yellow arrow, and a solid green arrow.

For more information on the flashing yellow arrow signal, please visit www.tompsc.com.

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