Henderson Signals Change

Green, yellow, red. The classic traffic light pattern is familiar to motorists across the country, as it should be, having been around forever.

But Henderson is on the cutting edge of traffic-light design—if there is such a thing. The city has installed a new, flashing-yellow-arrow left-turn signal, replacing the “dog house” green circular signal you’ll see everywhere else. Located at the intersection of Pacific Avenue and Van Wagenen Street, the new signal should help prevent accidents.

“The flashing yellow arrow was adopted after two decade’s worth of research to develop a better street light,” Glenn Grayson, of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, says. “The research has shown that the intersections with the yellow light have cut accidents down to half.”

The biggest problem at intersections is people not yielding to oncoming traffic while turning left, according to Kathleen Richards, senior public information specialist for Henderson. “Motorists who fail to yield get distracted by the [solid] green,” Richards says. “They assume they have the right-a-way.”

Henderson is the first city in Southern Nevada to install the new traffic lights, and eventually plans to spend $263,000 putting in a total of 80 of them.