New ITE guidelines for yellow light timing

Yellow lights are provided to alert drivers to the need to stop for a coming red, or to allow them to enter an intersection if they can’t safely stop. While there is no federal standard for the length of a yellow light, states have generally relied on a kinematic solution, published in 1960, which does not account for turning vehicles. After several years of study, ITE has released a report recommending a new standard of practice based on work by Mats Järlström, which does take the physics of turning into account.

New technology helps bicyclists at traffic signals

A new enhancement to a bicycle detection and counting device solves a problem and improves safety for bicyclists at intersections. The new addition to the Iteris Smartcycle technology allows bicyclists waiting at a red light to be sure they have been detected, that the light will change, and that the green light will be sufficiently long for them to finish crossing the intersection.

FHWA issues new guidance on pedestrian crossings

Despite many DOTs’ attention to complete streets, pedestrian fatalities are spiking nationwide. One problem is that, even with good sidewalks, in many places controlled crossings are widely spaced, and uncontrolled crossings can be quite dangerous. FHWA’s Every Day Counts program has attacked this problem, last month releasing a clear and concise guide to improving midblock and other uncontrolled crossings. The guide lays out a systematic process for identifying and addressing hazards using several countermeasures.

Increasing bicycle mode share leads to growing need for bicycle-specific traffic signals

As the popularity of transportation bicycling continues to grow, traffic engineers, planners, and lawmakers are recognizing the need to incorporate bicycle-specific infrastructure into intersection designs. Bicycle-specific signals are being used in 16 U.S. cities, and the signals are being included in traffic control manuals. NACTO has excellent guidance for how and where to install these signals.