Left turn signals confusion in Milford

MILFORD – We all know what green, yellow and red mean, but what does a flashing yellow arrow mean, as opposed to a non-flashing yellow arrow or a flashing red arrow?

The newly refurbished intersection where Route 13 meets Armory and Emerson roads has a new traffic signal system that is apparently
confusing some drivers.

“We’ve had a few complaints,” Bill Parker, the town’s Community Development Director, told selectmen last week. “It may be just a matter of the public getting used to it.”

The department has put a PDF file on the town website in hopes of dispelling some of the confusion.

The illustrated brochure says a steady yellow arrow means “Prepare to stop” because the arrow is about to turn red, while a flashing yellow one means “Proceed with left turn after yielding to traffic or pedestrians.”

A steady red arrow means stop and wait, and a steady green arrow means proceed with left turn.

The N.H. Department of Transportation, it says, “is one of the leading states to implement a new flashing yellow left turn signal light,” because studies demonstrate that the new lights result in fewer mistakes by drivers.

“The green light provides a protected left turn from oncoming traffic, while the flashing yellow arrow indicates left-turn traffic must first yield,” it says.

The $450,000 intersection project is intended to improve traffic flow and safety.

Eighty percent of the cost is being paid by a federal air-quality grant.