Dear Mr. or Ms. Traffic Light Person:
In this case, I would like an interpretation of the phrase, “Left turn yield on green.”
Now, if memory serves me — and yes, sometimes it does not, but in this case I’m pretty sure it does — “left turn yield on green” means there is a little green arrow light that twinkles before the green light on the red, yellow and green collection turns to green. Said “left turn yield on green” says to me that vehicles in the left-hand turn lane get a jump on cars going straight ahead. They can turn left without fear of attack from vehicles in the straight-ahead lane.
I am correct here, am I not?
If I am correct in my assumption then why is there a “left turn yield on green” sign hanging proudly on two streets in my neighborhood (16th Street and Pope Road) in the St. Augustine Beach area? Okay, let’s put it this way, the signs are there but no little green arrow light that twinkles before the green light on the red, yellow and green collection.
As a result those of us anxiously awaiting a green light, so to speak, to turn left, have no such reward in our quest for forward/left mobility at the afore mentioned locations. No, instead, we must be both brave and timid at the same time with a stern look as we, with a determined glare of a vehicle driver with a mission, venture into no-man’s land (the middle of the crossroads) waiting for an opportunity to turn left before the red, yellow and green collection once again returns to the red glow.
I have two suggestions for you, Mr. or Ms. Traffic Light Person.
One — and this is my favorite — install a little green arrow light that twinkles before the green light on the red, yellow and green collection turns from red to green, because when red turns to green it certainly isn’t Christmas for those maneuvering vehicles in said intersections hopefully anticipating a left-hand turn.
Two: If you won’t install the little green arrow light, then remove that blasted “left turn yield on green” sign!
In closing, here’s my take: I’m one of those people who takes the literal meaning from the signs. So, if you say there’s a yield light, then there should be one. I’m kind of like that old joke: “The sign said ‘wet paint,’ so I did!”
Anne C. Heymen was associated with The St. Augustine Record for 49 years in total before retiring in February 2014 as features editor. Her column runs in The Record on alternate Saturdays. Post published July 29, 2017.