Come spring, Randall Road could have life-saving yellow left-turn arrows at 11 intersections, the Kane County Division of Transportation reports.
In a June 11 radio interview with Newsradio 780, KDOT Traffic Section Manager Tom Szabo said federal research shows the installation of flashing yellow arrows cuts left-turn crashes by up to 30 percent.
“It seems to be a more intuitive indication or signal to folks of a cautionary left turn,” Szabo said. “By its very nature, a yellow arrow shows caution, and (this one) flashes.”
The flashing yellow left-turn signals have been successful at reducing fatalities and Class A crashes (accidents with injuries) in areas throughout the country, but Kane County will be among the first in Illinois to install them. Peoria has installed some of the flashing, yellow left-turn arrows, and Galesburg is in the process of adding them, Szabo said. Left-turn accidents are apparently more common, due to the lack of visibility on the part of the driver of the oncoming car – click here to learn more.
Kane County will use a portion of $4.8 million it has secured in federal Highway System Improvement Program funds to pay for the installation of the traffic signals. Szabo said federal funds will pick up 90 percent of the costs for the program, which will include three projects.
The first project is the 11 Randall Road intersections in St. Charles and Geneva. Work could start this fall and be completed by early 2015 at these intersections:
- Gleneagle Drive
- Christina Lane
- Fargo Boulevard
- Keslinger/Kaneville Road
- Prairie Street
- Oak Street
- Dean Street
- Red Haw Lane/Oakcrest Drive
- Red Gate Road
- Bolcum Road/Ridgewood Drive
- Silver Glen Road
The second project is all of Fabyan Parkway plus Orchard Road south of Randall, generally in the Batavia and North Aurora area.
The third project is Randall Road, north of Silver Glen all the way to County Line Road. That includes the communities of St. Charles, South Elgin, Elgin, Carpentersville and Algonquin. All three projects are expected to be completed by 2017, Szabo said.
Basically, each traffic signal will have a red left-turn arrow, a yellow left-turn arrow and a green left-turn arrow.
If you were in a left-turn lane stopped at a red light with a red left-run arrow, you’d first get the green left-turn arrow, then the solid yellow left-turn arrow, which indicates you ought to either complete your left turn or stop. Once oncoming traffic has the green light, you’d see the flashing yellow arrow for the left-turn lane — rather than the green ball — indicating you can turn left so long as the intersection is clear of oncoming traffic.
(Please see the embedded YouTube video for a full verbal and visual explanation.)
The whole purpose of the plan is to reduce serious accidents, reduce fatalities and improve traffic flow.
“That’s it exactly,” Szabo said.