Oregon Travel Alerts: Park Flooded, New Left Turn Signals
(Salem, Oregon) – Albany is getting new left turn signals in several places, and a park near Salem was flooded over the weekend, according to bulletins sent out by various state agencies.
Willamette Mission State Park north of Salem remains closed by high water over the park's entrance road.
Flood waters reached 10 feet over a section of the road during the past weekend. Although the water level is receding, park officials expect the road to remain under water through the rest of the week, based on weather and river forecasts. The park lies along the Willamette River eight miles north of Salem.
Check the Oregon state parks website (www.oregonstateparks.org) for up-to-date information on the park's closure, or call either 1-800-551-6949 or 503-393-1172 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
A new type of left-turn traffic signal will be installed within the next several weeks at various locations around the city of Albany. These locations include:
OR 99E at 29th Avenue SW
OR 99E at 34th Avenue SW
OR 99E at SW Allen Lane
OR 99E at Killdeer Street (Formerly known as Bain Street SE)
The new signals will use a flashing yellow arrow to notify left-turning motorists on the main roadway that they must yield to oncoming traffic before turning. Currently, standard signals use a circular green light to indicate that those turning left must yield.
The new signals were the focus of a nationwide study by the Federal Highway Administration that considered amending the federal standards for left-turn signals. The Oregon Department of Transportation participated in this study beginning in 2000. These newly designed left turn signals have now been formally adopted by FHWA.
During the study, ODOT determined that flashing yellow arrow signals contributed to a significant decline in crash rates at intersections where they were installed. That reduction in crash rates also represents a reduced cost to the public.
The new flashing yellow arrows will clarify for left-turners when they must yield. Studies have found that some people think green means go no matter what shape the signal light is. The new arrows will make more sense and are designed to make intersections safer and more efficient than the older style of left turn signal heads.