Crews changing left turn arrows in Gilbert from lagging to leading

Posted at 4:49 AM, Aug 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-28 13:26:04-04

Heads up for anyone who might drive in the East Valley! Pay attention to left turns because some of the traffic lights will be changing.

The changes will happen in the town of Gilbert. Crews will be changing all left turn arrows from lagging to leading. 

They're going to roll this out in six phases with the first one starting this week.  

Crews will begin work on Higley from Ocotillo to Riggs roads. Gilbert officials say this will take about four to six weeks and the purpose is to make it more consistent with surrounding cities.

Some long-time residents have been critical of the change but some drivers tell ABC15 that consistency is important to them.

Raina Calderon, who lives in Gilbert said, “I think they should make it consistent. I don't think they should differ it between cities. I don't think it makes any sense.” 

Another said the differing turns throw people off who are from out of state. 

Safety was another reason they're making the switch. Some studies have found that the lagging left was safer.

Another driver, Glenn Pollard, said, "I think it's going to cut down on accidents especially with the red light runners and stuff. You have the green arrow after the red light, someone doesn't see the red light you're gonna end up crashed." 

For Gilbert officials, they say they've done the research and both leading and lagging seem to be just as safe. 

But they did notice that crashes have dropped significantly at a traffic light they recently changed. So, they're moving ahead with the changes. 

You'll still notice lagging lefts though in Scottsdale and Goodyear. Many freeway interchanges also still use the lagging left turns.