This is a picture of an intersection that causes people problems. Imagine that you are approaching the intersection in a car. There is a traffic light and you can only turn left or right. Going straight puts you into a parking lot. The lower traffic light has a green arrow that allows you to turn right without stopping.
I've observed a lot of people approaching this intersection with the intention to turn right. They stop at the light and then turn right if they happen to see the green arrow. (They sheepishly look in their rear view mirror to see if anyone noticed that they stopped unnecessarily.) They usually don't see the green arrow until someone honks at them.
Why are people confused? One problem is that it is difficult to see the green arrow compared to seeing the two red lights.The second possibility is that people aren't used to turning right at a red light without stopping. I think these factors conspire to cause the problem.
problem might be fixed by making the green turn arrow
more salient. The arrow might be
made larger and brighter. Another green arrow might
be added to the overhead
Copyright © Michael J. Darnell 1996-2010. All rights reserved.