Q: It is nearly impossible to turn left at the stoplight on my street. How can I get a left-hand turn signal installed?
A: The best thing about this process is that it is relatively simple and pain free: No out-of-pocket money needs to be spent, and no forms need to be filled out. However, from start to finish, the process of adding a left-hand turn signal — if approved — can take a long time. If you’re willing to wait, here is how it works:
1. A citizen can phone either 311 or directly call the City of Dallas Transportation Planning and Engineering office at 214.670.3260. From there, a city employee takes down basic information, such as the intersection in question and the directions in which a turn signal is desired.
2. A city engineer has up to 90 days to take action on the request and will call the citizen to get more information about the intersection in question, including what days and times the intersection’s traffic light seems to cause the most problems.
3. The engineer then conducts a study of the intersection, taking into account traffic and accident reports from the previous three years, as well as studying the sight lines and available traffic lanes at the intersection.
4. The engineer will compile the findings, and get in touch with the citizen within a month of the study’s completion. If the engineer decides that a turn signal is either not feasible, or not needed, the engineer will explain why. If the engineer instead agrees with the citizen that a traffic signal is needed, then the engineer will file a request. (In the past year, 80 requests for new traffic signals were filed, and five of those approved and installed.) The timetable on when action is taken, however, depends whether the engineer believes a left-hand turn signal is urgent, and on other factors such as available funds that the city has for projects such as these.
For more information, call the Transportation Planning and Engineering Office at 214.670.3260.