Getting everyone to and from school safely is the goal of the installation of the first flashing yellow arrow turn signal in Northwest Missouri. Students at Chillicothe High School will be driving through the signal when they return to school this month, as part of a partnership project of the Missouri Department of Transportation, the Chillicothe School District and the city of Chillicothe. Crews have already begun preliminary work to install the signal at the intersection of Hornet Drive and Route 190 where students and other motorists enter and exit school property.
Currently, there is a four-way intersection at the school entrance with stop signs for traffic entering Route 190. The new signal should help improve traffic safety, reduce possible roadway crashes, injuries and fatalities by allowing motorists to safely enter and exit the high school.
"This is the first time we've used a flashing yellow left turn arrow in Northwest Missouri," said MoDOT Senior Traffic Engineer Jose' Rodriguez. "The flashing yellow left turn arrow takes the place of the green ball signal indication, telling motorists that they can make a left turn when they have an adequate gap in traffic to do so. It has been successful in other parts of the state and we have been working with the school district to make sure students fully understand the way the signal will work to keep them safer."
While the signal is a cooperative effort between the city of Chillicothe, the school and MoDOT, the cost and installation is being covered by MoDOT.
The signal should be fully operational by Aug. 20, in time for students' return to school. Once operational, the signal will be timed to keep traffic moving safely during higher traffic periods before and after school and during school events. At other times, the signal will be primarily green for the traffic on Route 190, and will be activated by traffic on Hornet Drive when it approaches the signal.
Just like at any other traffic signal, there could be a power outage. If an outage occurs, motorists should treat this as a four-way stop.
For more information and to see a video on how traffic moves through a flashing yellow arrow signal, visit www.modot.org/northwest and click on the Flashing Yellow Arrows link. You can also call MoDOT at 1-888-ASK MODOT or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MoDOTNWDistrict and Twitter @ModotNorthwest.