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Why is the flashing caution/left-turn signal no longer activated in either direction on Kruse Way at Westlake Drive?

(A Lake Oswego police officer or firefighter answers readers' questions each week in this space. To submit a question, call Editor Gary M. Stein at 503-636-1281 ext. 102 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Why is the flashing caution/left-turn signal no longer activated in either direction on Kruse Way at Westlake Drive?

VEACHThat's a great question. Flashing yellow lights have become common throughout many cities in Oregon. That specific intersection was turned on in July 2013, but it was turned off in April 2014 because of the high number of crashes in that intersection attributed exclusively to the flashing yellow light. (We had approximately eight vehicle crashes alone in one month.)

That particular intersection is offset, which means the two left-turn lanes in each direction (east-west) do not line up across from each other. There is close to a full lane width of offset between the two left-turn lanes.

The issue with the offset is that cars across from you in the left-turn lane actually conceal vehicles traveling in the through lane. At 40 mph, you can imagine the impact that results when a car pulls in front of through traffic — and that's exactly what we had.

Due to the crash data, Lake Oswego's Traffic Engineering Department — with the support of the police department — turned off the flashing yellow light.

Intersections such as the one on Kruse Way at Carman Drive do not have the same sight constraints and issues, nor the crash data that the Kruse Way/Westlake intersection does. That's why the flashing yellow light works well and as intended at Kruse Way and Carman, but not at Kruse Way and Westlake.

If you have a question about traffic control devices, please contact our non-emergency number at 503-635-0238.

— Motor Officer Denton Veach

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