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ALASKA- Here is a example of a traffic signal from our 49th state. This one is located in Ketchikan, Alaska. Most of the signals here are vehicle weight activated. This particular signal is mounted into the side of a dock. The controllers for many of the signals in Alaska are located in vaults underground rather than the standard, above ground, cabinets. (Photo by Carla Gruber)




ARIZONA- Arizona signals are usually, but not always, known for their louvered back plates and longer-than-average tunnel visors. The signals are typically painted black with natural steel poles. If there is a signal mounted on the upright of the mast arm pole, it sometimes is pointed to the left for opposite traffic movements.

Phoenix- This is an example of the older mast arm style of the signals in Phoenix. They are called "double guy" spans, and were quite popular in the 60's and 70's...however, as streets got wider these became obsolete because of their limited weight capacity and span lengths. Phoenix also tended to paint their poles yellow.

Tempe- This ultra modern design and a sleek look, is typical of Tempe's signals. This one also encompasses the 5 light protective/ permissive indications.



Mesa- Signals from Mesa, AZ. use hunter green poles and louvered back plates. Also, note the larger internally illuminated sign.
(Photos by Arthur Dock)


CALIFORNIA- Here is an example of a typical 8" version of a post mounted signal in California. Note the larger back plates and older neon pedestrian signal. This particular intersection is located in Claremont.




This is an example of a typical mast arm installation in the city of Los Angeles. These usually have longer arms than the older double guys.

This is an example of the older double-guy mast arm popular in most of California in the 60's and 70's.

Another example of an older installation in the city of Los Angeles. (Photos by David DeSantis)

Old Crouse-Hinds concrete mast arm pole for double guy set-up. (photo by Signalfan)





COLORADO- Here is an example of the newest signals in Colorado. They are now all  12" LED and are painted black. The installations feature longer mast arms, video detection, and countdown pedestrian signals. The protective / permissive signals are also of the "doghouse" style- that is, the green and yellow arrows, along with the green and yellow "ball" indications share a common red indication stacked on top an centered between the others creating a shape of a dog house!


This picture shows the previous generation of Colorado's signals.  They were all yellow with black back plates. The protective / permissive doghouse style signals were different too...notice the arrow indications are "lined up" along side the yellow and green indications of the main signal, creating a lop-sided look.


This is an example of an older span wire installation. These are the oldest type of installations, with all yellow painted 8" signals and cutaway type visors.  Note some of the visors have been replaced with the newer tunnel types.


HAWAII- Typical Hawaiian intersection showing signals without back plates. The location is HI 80 in Wahiawa on Oahu (near the north end of H2). (Photo by Mark Furqueron)



IDAHO- Idaho typically uses the same upright standard with two mast arms at right angles for the two opposing directions of traffic. This allows for fewer large poles to install, and to get knocked into by errant motorists! This one is located in Pocatello, ID.


Example of an older Idaho installation using span wire.  This particular intersection is wired to a common terminal block in the middle of the span that runs from the controller. Note the cross street is one way only by the single set of signals facing to the right in the photo. Idaho, like many other states, used 8" signals on the span wires.


MONTANA- There are several different mast arm configurations in this state.  Pictured here is an example of an older trombone-style mast arm installation in Butte. Signals here were all of the 8" lens variety and utilized the 9" two section pedestrian signal. This trombone mast arm attachment can be made to swing out of the way for larger oversized vehicles.



NEVADA- Nevada's signals all use the monotube straight arm with all 12" mounted signals. Usually at least two are overhead and one on the support post. They all have louvered back plates due to the strong winds there. This example is on the Nevada-California border at Primm, NV.


NEW MEXICO- New Mexico has always been the only western state to exclusively use the horizontally mounted signal. Along with it's neighbor to the East- Texas, the signals are usually painted yellow, and use all 12" indications. Some intersections use multiple horizontal heads on the mast arm. Some even have the five light left turn signals on these as well. (Photo by Mark O'Neil)


OREGON- This photo shows an example of a newer installation in Oregon.  They utilize a monotube pole assembly, LED red and green indications. This installation also features 3M left turn signals and the internally lit "LEFT TURN SIGNAL" sign.


This photo is of the older mast arm fittings from around 1979 to about 1995. It uses the same monotube assembly with a 3 LED left turn signal.  LEDs have been retrofitted basically everywhere in Oregon.



Modern Oregon mono-tube installation. This installation is in Portland. (Above three photos by Andrew Fields)



UTAH- Utah's signals are primarily in pairs overhead only..there aren't any side mounted positions. They use a mixture of black and yellow painted units. Most have back plates.



WASHINGTON- In these next two photos, we see a version of the old and new. The old installation shown here is in Seattle, WA at 1'st & King.  The one on the left in the photo is a 2-way version of a 4-way Crouse-Hinds.  The one in the median is a one-way version.  There are several of these in Seattle (there's also some 2-way
versions of 4-way Eagles (and similar looking signals) as well).

Here is an example of a protected/permissive left turn signal in
Seattle.  They're basically the same as the "left turn yield on green ball"
setups, except that a flashing yellow ball is used instead of a solid green
ball.  There is one other installation of these that I am aware of...in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Thanks to John Laughlin for the additional info.)

Another picture, this time of a newer Washington installation. This is quite a long span with two support poles and multiple signal heads.


This is an example of a typical Tacoma (WA) installation.  They are generally span wire setups (arm masts are rarely used outside of freeway on/off ramps) and newer signals are 12-8-8 units (protected/prohibitive left turn signals are the conventional 12-12-12).  Protected/permissive left turn signals are "inline 5's"  (Fife is the only other city around here that I know of that uses these).  Tacoma doesn't appear to be switching over to LED's yet (kind of interesting considering that during the recent power crunch they actually turned off streetlights to save power).

This one is a typical Everett (WA) signal.  Poles are usually cement instead of metal and the arm masts are slightly curved.  Most signals have 12" heads.  Like most cites around Western Washington, protected/permissive left turn signals are 4 sections with a fiber-optic arrow.  They also use LED's for the red lights (except on 8" heads which are still incandescent lights).


This one (located in Marysville, WA) is a typical WSDOT signal.  Most signals are arm masts (except for temporary signals).  WSDOT is currently replacing red & green signals with LEDs.  They are also replacing 4 section protected/permissive signals with doghouses. (Photos by LB Bryce)


WYOMING- This is an example of an older style signal in Wyoming. It uses the combo 12" red and 8" yellow/green sections overhead, with the old standard 8" vehicle signal with 12" pedestrian signal on the side. This example is in Sheridan, WY.


The newest types of installations in Wyoming are of the signal / sign gantry-type.  As you can see, these huge structures are erected as both a traffic signal and a directional sign.  Unfortunately, many of the smaller one-light towns suffer by having these odd structures dwarf the many historic buildings in their downtown districts. This one uses the typical 12-8-8 combo signals with back plates and is located in Thermopolis.

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