The City of Santa Barbara will be implementing a flashing yellow arrow on southbound State Street at Yanonali Street (near the railroad crossing). This will be the first flashing yellow arrow in Santa Barbara. This new signal configuration has been implemented successfully in other states and is beginning to be utilized in California. A study conducted by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program found that drivers made fewer mistakes with flashing yellow left-turn arrows than with traditional yield-on-green signal configurations.
How to use the flashing yellow arrow:
It’s simple, just remember that a flashing yellow left-turn arrow means turn with caution, after yielding to oncoming cars, bicycles and pedestrians.
Why Santa Barbara is using a flashing yellow arrow:
The City of Santa Barbara is working with Union Pacific Railroad and the California Public Utilities Commission to improve the safety at the State Street railroad crossing. In addition to the physical changes to the crossing, which include new medians, and gates across the sidewalks, the sequence of the traffic signal at Yanonali Street will change to prevent traffic from queuing across the railroad tracks. Sensors are being placed in the southbound traffic lanes between Yanonali Street and Mason Street, and if these sensors detect a queue building near the railroad tracks, the southbound light will turn red at Yanonali Street to prevent more traffic from entering the area. In order to maximize efficiency of the southbound left turn lane, a flashing yellow arrow will allow southbound left turns to continue moving. A traditional red/yellow/green arrow system will not allow that type of efficiency.
At this time, no other flashing yellow arrows are planned in Santa Barbara.
So just remember:
This sign will be installed below the new signal: