Pedestrian safety and flashing-yellow-arrow traffic signals: a live-interview Webinar

May 7, 2013 10:00 am - May 7, 2013 10:45 am

Agencies across North America are increasingly installing flashing yellow arrows at intersections to allow drivers to turn left after first yielding to oncoming traffic. While studies have shown the effectiveness of flashing yellow arrows, the factors that influence drivers' behavior at these intersections haven't been well studied, particularly the number of pedestrians and oncoming vehicles.

An OTREC study paired researchers David Hurwitz of Oregon State University and Christopher Monsere of Portland State University to look at improving pedestrian safety at intersections with the flashing yellow arrow. We present the results of this study in a new interview show-style Webinar on Tuesday, May 7.

Host Steph Routh, executive director of Oregon Walks (formerly the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition), will interview the researchers on the findings and their implications. She'll also talk with Stacy Shetler, principal traffic engineer with Washington County, Oregon, about the county's experience. Among the research findings:

  • The more pedestrians that are present, the more attention drivers pay;
  • The more oncoming cars, the less attention drivers pay to pedestrians;
  • Four to 7 percent of drivers don't even look at pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Results like these bolster arguments for limiting permissive left turns when pedestrians are present, as Washington County has done. Join us for the free Webinar and ask questions of the researchers and practitioners. Registration is free and can be completed any time at:

The Webinar will run from 10 to 10:45 a.m., Pacific time, including questions and aswers. Participants may ask questions at any point in the program through the UStream chat interface or by emailing

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