UPDATE: Flashing Yellow Light Now Discontinued On Highway 33 Due To Multiple Accidents
The flashing yellow lights were installed in the Duluth area some time ago and I do admit that I feel a bit funny "going on yellow". The process has now expanded to the Cloquet area and has some of the residents confused. When I posted this blog last week it was about the Cloquet Police department offering education and an explanation. I'm updating the blog with news that they've pulled the plug on the flashing yellow light.
The flashing yellow light is at the new intersection on Highway 33 and Big Lake Road/Doddridge Avenue. Many people didn't know what to do when they see the new, flashing, yellow arrow on the traffic signals. Thus, multiple crashes have occurred.
Here's what the flashing yellow arrow traffic signals means. You will see this feature in addition to the standard red, yellow and green arrows. When illuminated, the flashing yellow arrow allows waiting motorists to make that left-hand turn AFTER YIELDING TO ONCOMING TRAFFIC. Basically, if there is no on-coming traffic, you are free to execute your left-hand turn when you see the yellow light flashing. Otherwise, the new traffic signals work the same as traditional signals.
It was the decision of the MnDot to turn off the flashing yellow light because people were not yielding to the oncoming traffic. They are hoping to have new lights installed that will clearly explain the function of the the flashing yellow light.
The concept isn't new, it's actually been used in other parts of the state for five years and even longer to the south of the Northland.