City to install flashing yellow turn signals at troubled intersections

June 3, 2014

By Peter Clark

Flashing yellow turn signals will come to seven intersections by November.

In the interest of addressing some traffic problems in Issaquah, city leaders have looked into solving large-scale snarls and smaller hiccups. The city aims to affect particular hotspots where traffic is slowed unnecessarily.

The city will install the lights at the following intersections:

  • Front Street and Sunset Way (northbound and southbound left-turn signals)
  • East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast and Southeast 51st Street (northbound and southbound left-turn signals)

  • East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast and Southeast Black Nugget Road (southbound left-turn signal)
  • Front Street South and Newport Way Southwest (northbound and southbound left-turn signals)
  • Northeast Park Drive and 10th Avenue Northeast (eastbound and westbound left-turn signals)
  • Newport Way Northwest and Maple Street Northwest (northbound and southbound left-turn signals)
  • East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast and Southeast Issaquah-Fall City Road (northbound and southbound left-turn signals)

When approaching the flashing yellow turn signals, motorists should proceed to turn with caution after yielding to pedestrians or oncoming traffic.

City Councilman Joshua Schaer initially brought up the idea of installing them during the council’s goal-setting retreat last year.

“I’ve been trying to find ways that we can focus on mobility,” he said. “I’ve been looking at lower-cost items for the short term.”

He introduced the plan to the full council as a goal for 2014, but it was not adopted. Instead, the city took it under advisement and decided to forward the process.

“People are concerned about traffic,” Schaer said, citing neighbors giving inspiration for the yellow turn signals. “Given their implementation in other cities, such as Bellevue, it looked to be fairly successful. It just makes sense to not have people just sitting at turn signals when there’s nobody coming.”

City Communications Manager Autumn Monahan said the city investigated the viability of flashing yellow turn signals and found the new devices would alleviate some traffic problems.

“The decision was made based on an analysis that Public Works Engineering staff completed,” she said. “The left-turn lanes must meet certain standards and criteria set by the Washington State Department of Transportation. Based on the analysis, staff recommended the seven intersections be converted to flashing yellow arrows in 2014.”

Monahan said the city estimated the total cost at $75,000. The money will come from Intelligent Transportation System funds approved by voters in 2004.


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3 Responses to “City to install flashing yellow turn signals at troubled intersections”

  1. bryan weinstein on June 3rd, 2014 9:01 pm

    this is a great idea! now, what’s going to happen to the cut-through traffic in old town and other neighborhoods?

  2. Carl on June 5th, 2014 10:08 am

    Why did this take twenty years to accomplish???

  3. Nervous pedestrian on June 5th, 2014 5:52 pm

    I just watched this new signal in operation and I noticed that the flashing yellow turn arrow continues even after pedestrians get their crosswalk signal. Given that drivers nowadays really do seem to believe that a yellow light means “drive like hell”, this seems truly dangerous to me.

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