New traffic signals will soon be installed on Highway 153, city officials said Tuesday.
The lights—similar to ordinary traffic signals—include a feature that won't be immediately familiar to drivers. With time, officials said they hoped the new signals would make sense.
The signals feature a flashing yellow arrow feature, meant to signal that a driver is allowed to yield to oncoming traffic and make a left-hand turn. Ordinarily, drivers would yield before turning into traffic after observing the standard, circular green signal lights.
John Van Winkle, city traffic engineer, told Chattanooga City Council members that the new lights had been proven to maximize efficiency and reduce traffic rates. Van Winkle said the signals would be accompanied by signs explaining the meaning to drivers.
"Usually when there's change, there's always going to be confusion," Van Winkle said.
Van Winkle added that video detectors near the lights would monitor—not enforce—the flow of traffic and operate the lights in real time. A current monitoring system is in place at the intersection of Market and 20th streets.
Work on the new signals is expected to begin within the next week. Installation for each of the signals—which will be located between DuPont Parkway and Boy Scout Road—is expected to take between one and two days.
Van Winkle said that funding for the project was covered by a $7.4 million grant offered to the city for reducing vehicle emissions. Over time, additional flashing yellow arrow traffic signals will be implemented across the city.