Flashing Yellow Arrows

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Bellevue installed its first left turn signals with flashing yellow arrows in late 2010. A flashing yellow arrows mean that left turns are allowed, but drivers must yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. Flashing yellow arrows can also be used for right turns.

A video of a flashing yellow arrow in action shows how it works, A flashing yellow arrow illustration further clarifies the sequence. An animated video, translated into multiple languages, also is available:

While flashing yellow arrows may look a bit different to motorists initially, studies by the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) suggest they increase safety because they are more effective at getting drivers to yield to oncoming traffic. The FHA has approved the use of flashing yellow arrows for nationwide use.

Typical flashing yellow arrow sequence:

  1. Solid red arrow: Drivers turning left must stop and wait.
  2. Solid green arrow: Drivers can proceed with left turn.
  3. Solid yellow arrow: Drivers prepare to stop.
  4. Solid red arrow: A very short clearance interval where drivers turning left must stop.
  5. Flashing yellow arrow: Drivers may proceed with left turn after yielding to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.
  6. Solid yellow arrow: Drivers prepare to stop.
  7. Solid red arrow: Drivers turning left must stop and wait.

Planned signal modifications

The following locations are planned to be modified to add flashing yellow arrows. More information on their installation will be posted here when available.

  • 124th Avenue NE at NE 8th Street— Planned for the north-south directions. This project involves installing new signal displays.
  • 108th Avenue at Main Street— Planned for the eastbound, southbound and westbound directions.
    • Anticipated activation Sept. 26, 2019
    • Postcard mailed to addresses along 108th Ave SE
  • 106th Avenue at Main Street— Planned for the east-west directions. This project involves installing new signal displays.
    • Anticipated activation late Sept. 2019.
  • 148th Avenue SE at SE 16th and 22nd Street— Planned for the east-west directions at both intersections. This project involves installing four new signal poles and foundations to accommodate the new signal displays. This project is funded by the Transportation Neighborhood Levy.
    • Installation is anticipated to be Fall 2019.

In general, intersections will remain open during modifications but expect intermittent short-term lane closures. Obey police officers and flaggers directing traffic. New signal heads may be installed and covered prior to being activated. Obey the existing traffic control signs and signals until projects are complete.