Living in Green Valley is great, driving in Green Valley is sometimes a challenge, but for many of us, driving in Tucson is always a challenge. Since we do go to Tucson, we need to be aware of changes in traffic signals when they occur.

The City of Tucson's Department of Transportation (TDOT) has introduced flashing yellow arrows at some of its traffic signals throughout the city. As a result, it has had many questions from motorists about the change. The following is from the official website of the City of Tucson.

What does the flashing yellow arrow indicate?

Turn with caution. Bicyclists and motorists may turn in the direction of the flashing yellow arrow without stopping if there is a safe gap in oncoming traffic, while yielding to pedestrians and bicyclists.

Why did the city add the flashing yellow arrow?

Traffic signals with the new flashing arrows are safer for pedestrians. When a pedestrian pushes the “walk” button, the left turn arrow will turn red for motorists, while the “walk” and pedestrian countdown display is on. Pedestrians can cross busy streets safely because left-turning vehicles are prohibited from turning on a red arrow.

Will a traffic signal ever change directly from a flashing yellow arrow to a red arrow?

No. There will always be a solid yellow arrow before a red arrow.

Am I allowed to stop when the yellow arrow is flashing?

Yes. The flashing yellow arrow means proceed with caution. If it isn’t safe to turn, stop and wait until it is safe to complete your turn.

I’ve seen a flashing yellow arrow change to a green arrow. Are they supposed to do that?

Yes. The change from a flashing yellow arrow to a green arrow means that turning traffic has the right of way.

Can a green arrow change to a flashing yellow arrow?

Yes, a green arrow changing to a flashing yellow arrow means that turning traffic no longer has the right of way and must yield to bicycles, pedestrians, and other vehicles before turning.

What does it mean when the traffic signal is red but the left-turn arrow is flashing yellow?

It means that oncoming traffic has the right of way on a green light. Vehicles intending to go straight through the intersection facing a red light must stop and not proceed unless allowed to make a right turn on red. Bicyclist and drivers turning left may carefully proceed through the intersection after yielding to any approaching traffic.

If you have any other questions about the flashing yellow arrows, call the Tucson Department of Transportation traffic engineering division at 520-791-4371.

We hope this helps when you go to Tucson and see the new flashing yellow arrows.

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