Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFBs) are control devices that make it safer and easier for pedestrians to cross streets. They are activated by pedestrians and people riding bicycles by manually pushing a button. Once the button is pushed, a highly visible flashing pattern, similar to emergency flashers on police vehicles, alerts drivers that a person wants to cross the street.
Why They Are Needed
Mesa faces many challenges in providing cost-effective services to help pedestrians cross streets safely. Some locations do not meet the required traffic and pedestrian volumes for the installation of a standard traffic signal.
The RRFB is a lower-cost alternative to traditional traffic signals and has been found to increase the frequency in which drivers yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. A Traffic Engineering Study needs to be conducted to justify the installation of an RRFB.
Where They Have Been Placed
Rectangular rapid flash beacons have been installed on Center Street at 10th Avenue and are planned for Mesa Drive at the Consolidated Canal multi-use path crossing (January 2016).
How They Work
- The pedestrian activates the RRFB by pressing the button.
- The RRFB begins to flash to alert drivers that a pedestrian wants to cross the street in the crosswalk.
- Flashing lights facing the pedestrian confirm the activation of the RRFB.
- The RRFB flashes for a set time that allows a pedestrian adequate time to cross the street.
- After the allocated time has passed for the pedestrians to complete their crossing, the RRFB turns off.
- Push the button to activate the RRFB.
- Check for traffic before stepping into the street. Walk defensively and make eye contact with drivers to ensure that they see you. Cross only within the crosswalk.
- Cross the street one lane at a time. Cross into the next lane only when it is safe to do so.
- Arizona state law requires drivers to yield to pedestrians within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is in or near the same half of the street as the driver. The Arizona state law also requires pedestrians to enter the street with caution.
- Be alert and reduce speed in areas with crosswalks.
- Come to a complete stop if pedestrians are crossing or preparing to cross.
- Never pass another vehicle that has stopped or is slowing down at a crosswalk.
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