Drivers and Cyclists Using LB’s First Flashing Yellow Arrow Traffic Light

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Yellow Flashing Arrow Traffic Light in Long Beach

The first traffic signal in Long Beach with a flashing yellow arrow is eastbound on Livingston Drive for motorists turning north at Ximeno Avenue. Photo by Barbara Holbrook.

A week after it was unveiled, drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are benefiting from the rehabilitation project on Livingston Drive between Second Street and Termino Avenue. The most noticeable change was the addition of Long Beach’s first flashing yellow arrow traffic light. In addition, the far right westbound lane was converted into a protected service road to provide a safer route for local traffic and bicyclists, while also preserving valuable parking spaces.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re in a car, on a bike or on foot – this is one infrastructure improvement project that will help everyone out,” Mayor Bob Foster said.

The flashing yellow arrow means left turns are permitted, but the driver must first yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians and then proceed with caution (as opposed to a solid yellow arrow, which would direct motorists to prepare to stop or complete the turn if within the intersection.)

“The repaving and redesign of Livingston Drive will result in improved safety and traffic flow. Improving our streets and sidewalks continues to be one of my highest priorities,” said Councilmember Gary DeLong, who represents the 3rd District.

Only a handful of other cities in Southern California have adopted flashing yellow left-turn signals, which the Federal Highway Administration now allows as an option to improve safety and reduce traffic delays, especially at high-volume intersections.

Westbound Livingston Drive previously had expanded to three lanes along the 0.4-mile stretch. The third lane on westbound Livingston Drive was reconfigured into a protected service road to provide a safer route for local traffic and bicyclists, while preserving parking spaces. Traffic engineers had conducted studies and determined that the two remaining traffic lanes will accommodate traffic flow with no adverse congestion expected.

Work started in August, and was completed on time and on budget. The project was funded from Proposition C, with no impact on the City’s General Fund.

The service road is protected by a raised median, and was designated with “sharrows,” which are markings to remind motorists and bicycles to “share the road.”

On eastbound Livingston Drive, the sidewalk was doubled in width to 8 feet, to increase walkability. The number of traffic lanes, as well as the number of parking spaces, remains the same.

The pedestrian crossing remained at Roswell Avenue. A Long Beach Transit bus stop on Roswell Avenue that was infrequently used was removed.

In an effort to improved streetscape aesthetics, concrete along part of the median stained and “stamped” with decorative detailing.

The rehabilitation also included cement concrete curbs, gutters and sidewalks, replacing and overlaying asphalt concrete pavement, and furnishing and installing pavement markers, markings, and traffic striping. New catch basins with screens prevent trash from entering storm drains, and the median will accommodate future landscaping.

The street was resurfaced with asphalt containing up to 15 percent recycled material, as well as recycled rubber from old tires. One of the environmental benefits associated with this project is that old tires were recycled through the use of rubberized asphalt in this project.

In addition, all of the old asphalt material will be recycled into new asphalt or utilized as base material on other street projects. Road base material used on the project came from recycled concrete, rock, sand, and asphalt, and all concrete work will include recycled waste ash, diverting these materials from our landfills.

In a separate but nearby project, the Lois Lane alley just south of, and parallel to, Livingston Drive will be closed for reconstruction, with work expected to start by early February and last for approximately three weeks, depending on weather conditions.


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