Last week BCA spent some time with the Muni’s traffic engineers discussing the new traffic pattern at Dowling and Old Seward. We were concerned about the new blinking left turn signal at the intersection. While both the old and new signals are “permissive”, we were concerned the new style of signaling could be confusing for drivers and lead to conflicts in the crosswalk with bikes / peds (the previous light pattern prevented motorist left turns while the crosswalk light was active).
Anchorage will be seeing more of these types of signals in the near future (there are 15 more in the works). The muni assured us this new signaling has been vetted in other communities, as the supporting data shows it is safer than the previous style of signal (solid green ball), but agreed that it represents a new behavior drivers will need to get used to. BCA asked the muni to consider updating the light pattern so that the left turn arrow becomes red when the crosswalk button has been activated, and the muni has agreed to consider this option if it turns out there is a compelling need to do so.
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