Traffic & Pedestrian Signals
The Public Works Department is responsible for the operation of traffic and pedestrian signals throughout the City of Blue Ash. Questions or concerns should be directed to the Public Works Director's office at (513) 745-8538.
Traffic Signal Installation - The purpose of a traffic signal is to provide the orderly movement of traffic by assigning right-of-way at intersecting streets. Installed under the appropriate conditions, a traffic signal is very effective.
It is important that the installation of such an important device be preceded by a thorough engineering study. To preclude the indiscriminate use of traffic signals, the Federal Highway Administration has published the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The MUTCD contains guidelines ("warrants") for determining when a traffic signal is necessary. The MUTCD is the federal standard governing traffic control devices in the United States.
Benefits of Traffic Signals - A traffic signal can dramatically change the traffic patterns in and around an intersection.
When installed under conditions that justify its use, a traffic signal can:
- Interrupt extremely heavy flows to permit the crossing of minor movements that could not otherwise move safely through an intersection.
- Increase the traffic handling capacity of an intersection.
- Reduce certain types of accidents, most notably right-angle (broadside) collisions.
Flashing Traffic Signal - When a traffic signal monitoring unit detects a problem with a traffic signal such as the simultaneous display of green indications to conflicting movements or loss of power to signal heads, the signal is automatically placed into flash mode as a safety precaution. Signals can have either red/red flash mode or yellow/red flash mode. A red/red flash mode requires all vehicles to stop at the intersection, such as a 4-way stop sign functions. A yellow/red flash mode grants vehicles on the major roadway (flashing yellow) to proceed with caution through the intersection and requires vehicles on the minor roadway (flashing red) to stop until vehicles on the major roadway have cleared the intersection and it is safe to proceed.
Inoperable Traffic Signal - When a traffic signal is completely out, the intersection should function as a 4-way stop sign with vehicles taking turns through the intersection.
Pedestrian Signal Information - Pedestrian signals are usually installed at intersections with a high volume of foot traffic, a school crossing, and/or have other traffic signals that do not adequately help pedestrians cross safely. Both words and symbols are used on pedestrian signals.
At intersections where there is a pedestrian signal, cross when the "WALK" or walking pedestrian symbol lights up. A flashing "DON'T WALK" or upraised hand symbol means that if you haven't yet entered the intersection, it's too late to cross the street before the traffic signal changes. If already in the intersection, you should have ample time to get to the other side safely. A steady "DON'T WALK" or a steady upraised hand signal means it's too late to begin crossing. Don't enter the street, but quickly finish crossing if you have already started.
Pedestrian push buttons are available to pedestrians and bicyclists because traffic signals are timed for vehicles, not for pedestrians. If you do not push the button, the walk signal may not come on and the traffic light may not allow the pedestrian enough time to safely cross the street. You only need to push the button once for it to be activated. If the walk signal does not come on after a full traffic signal cycle, the pedestrian signal is probably not working properly and requires attention.
Although the pedestrian signal indicates your legal right to cross an intersection, it is important to be cautious when crossing any street. At intersections where there is no pedestrian signal, pedestrians should cross inconjunction with the traffic signals. In other words, cross when the facing light turns green, being sure to watch out for cars running red lights or making turns into your path. Cross intersections defensively and as quickly as possible. Be aware of turning vehicles and careless motorists.