I Love Flashing Yellow Arrows

In my opinion one of the great inventions of the 21st century is the flashing yellow arrow left turn signal.   

We have all had to sit at an intersection waiting to take a left turn with a red arrow.  The oncoming traffic has a green light but very little traffic is passing by.  I understand that this red arrow is necessary at other times of the day- but what about those times when the traffic is lighter?  This is where the flashing yellow arrow comes in.  You can now take a left hand turn when traffic is clear and not have to wait for a green arrow.  Studies have shown that these flashing yellow arrow signals help drivers make fewer mistakes, keep motorists safer during heavy traffic, and helps reduce delays when traffic is light.


We first installed these in Eden Prairie as part of a road improvement at Valley View Road and Prairie Center Drive in 2011.  Later that year we added them on Eden Prairie Road (County Road 4) at four locations between Highway 5 and Highway 212.

The feedback on these new flashing yellow arrows has been great.  In fact, people have been clamoring for more since they were first installed.  However, these lights are not cheap to put in.  The average cost per intersection can run $50,000 depending on equipment and electrical needs.  Also, since many of these lights are not solely on city streets they often require the approval and coordination of the County or the State (MnDOT).  

There is recent good news. As more of these improvements are made across the country the costs are going down ($10-15,000 per intersection) and the coordination is getting easier. As a result, more flashing yellow signals are on the way.  We are once again partnering with Hennepin County and MnDOT to install flashing yellow arrows signals at nine intersections this summer in Eden Prairie.  

The areas planned for conversion are:

  • CR 39 (Valley View Rd) / Market Place Drive
  • CR 1 (Pioneer Trail) / Franlo Road
  • CR 1 (Pioneer Trail) / Bennett Place
  • CR 1 (Pioneer Trail) / Homeward Hills Road
  • CR 1 (Pioneer Trail) / Staring Lake Parkway
  • CR 1 (Pioneer Trail) / Mitchell Road
  • CR 1 (Pioneer Trail) / CR 4 (Eden Prairie Road)
  • I-494 East Ramp / Valley View Road
  • Washington Ave / Valley View Road

 Look for them later this year at an intersection near you.


  1. Bernie Krause
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Ok, well in that vein, why not also program a right turn arrow if in a four way intersection the traffic from the right has a left turn arrow? Seems as if most right turners in that situation just roll through the red anyhow, and there is no conflict at all.

  2. Posted June 12, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    It’s extremely convenient than to sit there waiting for a green light especially when traffic is clear