Flashing Yellow Arrow in Palm Beach County
In November 2019, Palm Beach County activated the first phase of the Flashing Yellow Arrow (FYA) left turn traffic signals at 8 traffic signalized intersections along and in the vicinity of Congress Avenue between Golf Rd. and Gateway Blvd. Although the FYA traffic signal has been used nationwide for over 10 years, including in over 100 locations in Florida, the FYA traffic signal is new to Palm Beach County.
The FYA signal indication will replace the traditional solid circular green indication for the following two left-turn signal types:
- "Permissive Only" where only a solid circular green indication is displayed and motorists must always yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians before completing the left turn; and,
- "Protected/Permissive" which is comprised of two parts, a "protected" left-turn phase initiated by a green arrow signal indication where oncoming traffic must stop and it is safe to turn left, followed by a "permissive" part during which a solid circular green signal is displayed and left turning traffic must yield to oncoming traffic.
During the FYA display, left turning drivers must yield to oncoming traffic and / or pedestrians in the crosswalk.
For more information on the FYA, please see the below links and document:
Temporary Single-Lane Roundabout Deployment at the Intersection of Okeechobee Blvd & Jog Rd
Pictured: Over head view of the temporary roundabout at Okeechobee Blvd. and Jog Rd.
As part of a joint hurricane preparedness exercise, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and Palm Beach County worked together to deploy a temporary single-lane roundabout to control the intersection of Okeechobee Blvd. and Jog Rd. for about 3 hours on Saturday, May 30th 2020. The purpose of the exercise was to evaluate this temporary traffic control concept that would be used at major intersections where traffic signals are damaged after a hurricane and cannot be repaired for several days. The approach currently used to temporarily address the problem of post-hurricane inoperable traffic signals is to install portable stop signs on all approaches with a law enforcement officer directing traffic during the peak hours only. This method was not always successful, especially at large intersections, and would sometimes cause confusion and long delays. With a temporary roundabout, traffic can continue flowing without stopping, vehicles only have to yield to other drivers and pedestrians who are already in the intersection. The idea for a temporary roundabout came from Wilmington, North Carolina where they too tested and successfully implemented this strategy at signalized intersections made inoperable after a hurricane.
Pictured: Overhead view of Okeechobee Blvd. and Jog Rd. facing north east.
The entire deployment was set up without any incidents by 7:00 AM and left in place for 3 hours for evaluation. Passenger vehicles, Palm Tran buses, very large semi-trailer trucks, pedestrians, and bicyclists were observed going through this single-lane roundabout without any major issues. At 10:00 AM the temporary roundabout was taken down and the intersection's traffic control was restored to full signal operations in about 10 minutes.
The exercise validated the concept and achieved its goals by verifying the amount of time and level of effort it takes to setup and take down as well as identifying a few adjustments that could improve the efficiency of the operation. As it was expected at a large intersection, there were some vehicle queues, mostly on the west approach (eastbound traffic). However, these queues completely dissipated in less than 5 minutes at the end of the test when the traffic signal was reactivated. Overall, it was observed that traffic flowed through the temporary roundabout in a more orderly and safer manner than it would when compared to the intersection under the control of portable stop signs. The FDOT and County staff were very pleased with the outcome of this exercise and are discussing next steps for incorporating this strategy in FDOT and County hurricane emergency response and recovery plans.