DOT: What to do when new BHS traffic light goes live

traffic_light_tipsBAINBRIDGE– the Georgia Department of Transportation announces the new traffic signal at the intersection of US 84/State Route 38 at Bearcat Boulevard (Bainbridge High school) will be fully operational at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 29.

The Department urges motorists and pedestrians alike to be aware of a new traffic environment in this area. Be patient and cautious as everyone gets accustomed to the signal.

The new traffic signal which is designed to improve safety and increase traffic flow – especially for left-turn movements – is the first of its type to come to Decatur County.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has installed a new signalized intersection at US 84/SR 38 and Bearcat Boulevard with what are known as a Flashing Yellow Arrow (FYA) traffic light that will provide an extended period of time for motorists to turn left after yielding to any oncoming traffic.

“The flashing yellow arrow’s primary purpose is to reduce the often-devastating right angle crashes that occur when drivers turning left are struck by oncoming traffic,” stated Van Mason, District Traffic Engineer. “This new traffic signal design gives drivers a clear picture of when they may turn left, when to proceed with caution, and when they should prepare to stop.”

The new signals are being deployed at intersections with historic heavy left-turning traffic volumes.  The FYA signals will apply exclusively to drivers making left turns. The signal configuration will be a vertical display of three left turn arrows functioning as follows (displayed in the attachment):

  • When solid Red arrow is illuminated, no left turn is allowed;
  • When solid Yellow arrow is displayed, drivers should prepare to stop as light is about to turn red;
  • When flashing Yellow arrow is illuminated, drivers may turn left but must yield to pedestrians and oncoming vehicles

Federal Highway Administration studies have shown these signals help reduce crashes of left-turning vehicles by as much as 35 percent.  The FYA also offers clearer guidance to drivers turning left and allows them more movement through the intersection when no pedestrians or oncoming traffic are present, thereby reducing back-ups, engine idling and auto emissions.

Entering and leaving Bainbridge High School

With the new traffic light at the Main Gate of Bainbridge High School, there will be significant changes in the traffic flow pattern. By Georgia Department of Transportation mandate, all left turns entering and leaving our campus must pass through the traffic light. Below is information about entering and leaving BHS:

Morning Traffic

Buses and student drivers arriving from the west (towards Bainbridge) will enter the West Gate (bus gate) as they have in previous years. Parents dropping off students and all traffic from the east (towards Climax) will enter the Main Gate.

Afternoon Traffic

All traffic heading west (towards Bainbridge) must exit at the Main Gate through the traffic light. An additional left exit lane has been added at the Main Gate to assist with departing traffic.

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