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Improving Community Connections with Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon Technology.

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Presentation on theme: "Improving Community Connections with Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon Technology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Improving Community Connections with Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon Technology

2 Walkable Streets Are The Way of The Future According to the EPA *, walkability is correlated with: –Attracting young talent, start-up economies, & the baby boomer generation –Increased commercial property occupancy –Increased economic activity –Higher real estate premiums –Increased property and sales tax revenues * Environmental Protection Agency: Office of Sustainable Communities Smart Growth Program. Smart Growth and Economic Success: Benefits for Real Estate Developers, Investors, Businesses, and Local Governments

3 Walkable Streets Are The Way of The Future Walkability also creates: –Strong community connections –Increased social capital as people connect and share knowledge/information –Reduced healthcare costs –Reduced childhood obesity rates Herbert Y., Dale A. Community Vitality and the Built Environment %20Built%20Environment.pdfhttp://mc3.royalroads.ca/sites/default/files/webfiles/files/OtherCRC/Vitality%20- %20Built%20Environment.pdf Active Living Research. Designing for Active Recreation Toronto Public Health. Road to Health: Improving Walking and Cycling in Toronto National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health. Active Transportation in Urban Areas: Exploring Health Benefits and Risks Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Childhood Obsity Facts

4 Existing Routes Present Opportunity Every city has walkable routes that already exist. Areas where vehicle traffic severs these routes represent an opportunity to improve walkability without major investment. For our city, one such potentially walkable route is ___________.

5 Existing Routes Present Opportunity Currently, this route is severed by vehicle traffic, preventing more people from using it.

6 Existing Routes Present Opportunity Our crossing qualifies as a marked, uncontrolled crossing.

7 Safety of Marked Crosswalks FHWA Research shows that: Installing a marked crosswalk without additional crossing facilities does not result in vehicles stopping for pedestrians The presence of marked, uncontrolled crosswalks on high-volume, multi-lane roadways results in higher pedestrian crash rates than unmarked locations FHWA HRT Safety Effects of Marked Versus Unmarked Crosswalks at Uncontrolled Locations

8 There are several possibilities for enhancing marked crossings: -Raised medians -Curb extensions -Overhead beacons -Traffic calming (raised crosswalks, narrow streets) -Rectangular rapid flashing beacons Possibilities for Enhancing Marked Crosswalks

9 Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons represent an attractive choice because: -They are cost effective to purchase and install -Installation does not require lengthy traffic disruptions -They are proven and recommended by the FHWA for marked uncontrolled crosswalk locations

10 Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) are pedestrian-activated, high-intensity warning lights that notify drivers when a pedestrian is entering the crosswalk.

11 Applications Standard Two-Way Roadway

12 Applications Advance Two-Way Roadway

13 Applications Standard One-Way Roadway

14 Applications Median Two-Way Roadway

15 Applications Two Pole Two-Way Roadway

16 Applications Overhead Two-Way Roadway

17 Applications

18 RRFB Applications Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons are ideal for: –Urban mid-block crosswalks –Multi-lane crosswalk locations –University campus crosswalks –School zone crosswalks –Greenways –Bicycle boulevards –Trail crossings

19 Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Crosswalk Treatment Decision Matrix –A decision-making matrix that outlines when to use Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons

20 Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Crosswalk Decision Tree Matrix:

21 Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons RRFBs are a recommended crosswalk improvement in multiple federal and state research reports including reports by: The U.S. Department of Transport Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT)

22 Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons The FHWA has issued interim approval of RRFBs for use at marked, uncontrolled crosswalks to states across the U.S.

23 RRFBs have also been included in: Pedestrian master plans and design guidelines in major urban centers including Portland, OR Philadelphia, PA Chicago, IL Boston, MA Washington DC Pedestrian projects in suburban municipalities throughout the country Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons

24 Research on Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons FHWA research showed that with the installation of RRFBs at marked, uncontrolled crossings: Driver yield rates jumped from 0% to 96% in some locations Driver yield rates increased up to 73% over traditional beacon systems such as side-mounted and overhead beacons The percentage of drivers yielding at a distance of over 100ft. more than doubled over baseline treatments The effects on driver yield behavior persisted for the length of the two-year study Passing and attempted passing on multi-lane roads was reduced U.S. Department of Transport Federal Highways Administration. Effects of Yellow Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacons on Yielding at Multi-Lane Uncontrolled Crosswalks. Publication No. FHWA-HRT

25 Cost Benefits of RRFBs

26 RRFBs for Our Community We propose the reconnection of the potentially walkable route at with the installation of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons at.

27 RRFB Case Study RRFBs at school zone crosswalk in Des Plaines, IL Parents and children requesting facilities to walk/bike to school Officials identified marked, uncontrolled crossing that serviced four different schools Installed RRFBs to improve accessibility Quick installation done by city crews City leadership demonstrated commitment to improving health and safety of citizens Video case study:

28 School zone crosswalk in Des Plaines, IL

29 RRFB Case Study RRFBs in city plans for Columbus, OH City of Columbus receives 60+ requests for crosswalk improvements each year City focused on forward-thinking agenda of improving walkability New process to determine where and what kind of crosswalk improvements can help city achieve goals RRFBs play significant role in recommended improvements Full PDF of case study: AL_0.pdf

30 Crosswalk Improvements to Achieve Walkability Goals

31 RRFB Case Study RRFBs in Rails-to-Trails project Four-mile long Topsfield Trail in Topsfield, MA was crossed by busy roadway Need to protect crossing for those using trail RRFBs chosen as solution for cost-effectiveness, proven performance, & aesthetics Installed entirely by volunteer workforce Full PDF of case study: mmon%20Trail_Topsfield%20MA%20Case%20Stud y.pdf

32 Installed by Volunteers in Topsfield, MA

33 RRFB Case Study RRFBs at mid-block, multi-lane location in Key Largo, FL New “stop for pedestrians” law inspired enhanced crossing facilities Mid-block crossings represented problematic locations – few drivers stopping for pedestrians RRFBs installed to encourage proper driver behavior in accordance with new laws Local news coverage: aimed-to-enhance-pedestrian-safety#youtube_video aimed-to-enhance-pedestrian-safety#youtube_video

34 Mid-block, multi-lane crosswalks in Key Largo, FL

35 RRFB Case Study RRFBs at high-traffic, multi-lane location in Bend, OR Busy highway crossings required safety improvements City saw increase from 23% driver yield rate to 83% compliance with installation of RRFBs Cost effective installation and operation of technology influenced decision to purchase Local news coverage: Beacons-Safety-Improvements/- /413192/ /-/35ixb3/-/index.html Beacons-Safety-Improvements/- /413192/ /-/35ixb3/-/index.html

36 High traffic, multi-lane locations

37 RRFB Case Study RRFBs at university campus location in Appleton, WI Busy multi-lane crossing near university campus required improvements RRFBs installed to improve visibility and safety of staff, students, and faculty Improved pedestrian comfort at crossing and better driver yield rates Local news coverage: kY kY

38 University Campus Safety Improvements

39 Additional resources on Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacons can be found at


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