Latest intersection improvements
to help promote traffic flow; safety for motorists
Kari Arend, MDOT Office of Communications, 517-750-0406Agency:
December 7, 2006 - - The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) currently is implementing several new traffic and safety devices across the state as a way to help improve traffic flow and safety for motorists. A new type of traffic signal configuration, a flashing yellow arrow left-turn signal, and traffic roundabouts are three improvements MDOT is currently making.
"Improved safety for motorists is a number-one priority for MDOT," said MDOT Director Kirk Steudle. "These three traffic devices will go a long way toward improving traffic operations and safety at intersections and interchanges across the state."
One device being implemented is a new type of traffic signal configuration called a "box span." This design removes traditional traffic signals from the middle of an intersection and instead places them in each of the four quadrants of an intersection. The lights are hung from wires attached to poles placed at each intersection corner. This design helps improve mobility, as well as increase safety for maintenance workers, since crews will no longer need to be stationed in the middle of a busy intersection to make repairs.
Another device currently being installed at select locations across the state is a new left-turn signal, called a "flashing yellow arrow left-turn signal." It offers a safer, more efficient way to handle traffic turning left at busy intersections. This type of signal will be used by Michigan's roadway agencies in place of the flashing red left-turn signals that now are common.
The four-arrow signals will be placed over the left-turn lane at a signalized intersection. They are being introduced nationwide, and ultimately will be required at all intersections where there is a separate left-turn arrow signal. Implementation will take several years, with the first lights scheduled to be installed in 2006.
The first flashing yellow left-turn arrow on Michigan's state highway system will be installed and activated this week on Lansing Road at Canal Road in Eaton County near the State Secondary Complex.
And a final tool used to better manage traffic in high growth areas is a traffic roundabout. The number of roundabouts is increasing each year in Michigan, as more are being built at or near busy interchanges around the state.
For more information on each of these innovative traffic control devices, go to the MDOT Web site at www.michigan.gov/mdot
. Details are available online under "Roads and Travel" on MDOT's Web site.
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