On Thursday, June 14, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), converted the left turn signals at Diamond Boulevard and Byron Nelson from “permissive” to “protected” left turn conditions. As a result of the change, left turns are only permitted when a green arrow is shown on the signal head. Prior to the conversion, drivers could make a left turn when a green arrow was displayed as well as on a solid green light when an adequate gap in oncoming traffic was available.
TxDOT has determined that from a safety perspective, it is in the best interest of the public to operate the left turn signals in a protected left turn only mode. Chief Michael Starr added, “We concur with TxDOT’s decision to require a left arrow for turning traffic. When you have experienced as many accidents along the Southlake Blvd. corridor as we have over the past several years, you quickly come to the conclusion that the potential loss of few seconds is well worth the potential damage that can be caused by the T-Bone accident.”
Since the beginning of this year, Southlake traffic accident records indicate a total of thirteen accidents resulting from the permissive left turn movements. According to TxDOT, left turn signals in six-lane thoroughfares where the speed limit is 45 mph or greater are required to be operated in a protected left turn mode.
The Texas Department of Transportation has also notified the City of Southlake that all signalized intersections along the FM 1709 corridor will be converted to protected left turn only configurations in the near future.
Several weeks ago, the left turn signals at the intersection of Waterford Drive/Southridge Lakes and FM 1709 were also converted by TxDOT to protected left turn only conditions. Currently, all intersections along 1709 within the City of Keller operate in a protected left turn only configuration.