NCDOT will soon begin installation of the first-of-its-kind traffic signals called the 'dynamic left turn.'
"The first time through is going to be something different and new, but we hope that every time after that we hope they adapt and understand the devices are not complicated," said Joe Hummer, state traffic management engineer for NCDOT.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
According to Hummer, the dynamic left turn coming to Cary could save about 2,000 vehicle hours per year.
The way it works is there will be two left turning lanes. During busy traffic times, nothing will change. Both turning lanes will receive a green turning arrow and continue to operate normally.
However, during lower traffic times, the right left turn lane will be inactive. Plus--and here is the key time saving change--drivers turning left will not get a green arrow. They will have to yield their left turn to oncoming traffic.
"The time savings is also for everybody else that goes through the intersection. Because we can take that time that would normally be allotted to the green arrow and reallocate that time to other movements around the intersection, to give them just a couple of extra seconds that they wouldn't have had otherwise. But over the course of the days and the weeks and the months that all adds up," Hummer said.
The dynamic left turns will be installed in Cary for drivers turning left onto Cary Parkway from eastbound Tryon Road. In Clayton, the change will come for drivers turning left on U.S. 70 Business at Town Center Boulevard into the Walmart shopping center.
The NCDOT said the goal is to decrease travel time for drivers.
"Most of the day, there is not enough traffic going left to require the use of both left-turn lanes," a press release said.
"This is the first time in the world that this type of configuration has been tried," Hummer said.