Renee from Highlands Ranch writes, “Why on southbound Quebec at C-470 do the green traffic lights show arrows instead of just the green light? It just seems out of place.”

Your question is confirmation Renee that the arrows are doing their job. The green arrows are designed to get your attention and keep you going forward. In 2021, CDOT and Douglas County, replaced the traffic signals on both sides of Quebec Street at C-470 with those modified signals. The new signals replaced the familiar circular green traffic light with that green arrow pointing upward, or forward. I’m told that the goal of this change was to reduce the chance a driver might think they can turn right and end up going the wrong way down the freeway off-ramp.

Replacing the traffic signals with the green arrows was Phase 2 of this overall safety improvement project. According to CDOT’s project page, Phase 1 centered around installing new larger ‘Do Not Enter’ signs at nearly 100 highway off ramps.

“The newer signs should better catch the attention of drivers before they enter a highway driving the wrong direction. The new signs are located closer to the ground and have red reflective tape on the post to further indicate a wrong direction to the driver. There are also more signs on the ramps now than there were before the project.”

Douglas County Traffic Engineers tell me they worked with CDOT to make these same modifications on Quebec at C-470 to the traffic signals on Broadway at C-470 and on Lucent at C-470.

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“Work took place along multiple highways and interstates throughout the metro area, as well as six different counties including: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson. Throughout the second phase of the sign replacement and signal modification project, new signs were installed at off ramps in the Denver metro area and traffic signals were modified along I-25, SH 470, SH 58, I-70, I-76, and US 36.”

These new straight ahead green arrows are only located at freeway ramp intersections, not at other intersections, because they are supposed to reduce the chance drivers might turn the wrong way onto the off-ramps and prevent severe head-on collisions that can result from drivers entering a freeway in the wrong direction.

Phase 1 of the project replaced signage at 83 off-ramps along I-70 from the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel to Strasburg, along all of I-225, 6th Ave from Golden to I-25 and Highway 285 from I-25 to Pine Junction. In all, CDOT removed and replaced approximately 900 aging signs with the new larger, easier to see signs. Additional wrong-way signs were added at most locations, totaling about 1500 wrong-way/roadway signs and posts installed in phase 1 of the project. In total, $2.2 million was spent in both phases of this project.

Denver7 traffic anchor Jayson Luber says he has been covering Denver-metro traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a chariot. (We believe the actual number is over 25 years.) He’s obsessed with letting viewers know what’s happening on their drive and the best way to avoid the problems that spring up. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify or Podbean.

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