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Taking Steps For Safety: Stamford Installs Flashing Beacons At Crosswalks

Stamford has installed four of these high-tech pedestrian crossing signals,  known as Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB). See story for the locations.
Stamford has installed four of these high-tech pedestrian crossing signals, known as Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB). See story for the locations. Photo Credit: City Of Stamford

STAMFORD, Conn. – To an effort to improve pedestrian safety, the city of Stamford has installed a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon at four dangerous intersections for pedestrians.

The newest one went online last week at Selleck Street at Durant Street, joining three others throughout the city.

Stamford Mayor David Martin and Bureau Chief for Transportation Jim Travers joined City Rep. Virgil De La Cruz in unveiling the high-tech beacon.

“Distracted driving and distracted walking have increased in the last few years, making pedestrian crashes more common throughout the country. The RRFBs are a low-cost solution that can be life-saving,” said Martin. “Jim and his team have done a lot in a short amount of time to improve pedestrian safety, especially through devices like the RRFB that bring drivers’ attention to pedestrians.”

Stamford faces 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.

RRFBs can enhance safety by increasing driver awareness of people who want to cross the street at a crosswalk. When installed at un-signalized crosswalks, the RRFBs have been shown to be more effective than standard signing and pavement markings alone.

RRFBs have been installed in other municipalities in Connecticut and throughout the country to improve services to pedestrians.

The City of Stamford has recently installed four of these models:

  • Hope Street at the Springdale Train Station;
  • Lawn Avenue at Trumbull Gate;
  • Newfield Avenue at Crane Road; and
  • the new one on Selleck Street at Durant Street.

"The location on Selleck Street was chosen because of the high density residential developments to the north, the bustling retail to the south, and it’s very active bus stop location," the city said. In addition to the RRFB, improvements were made to the sidewalk to accommodate more pedestrians waiting to cross the street.

How the RRFB works:

  • 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.
  • After the allocated time has passed for the pedestrians to complete their crossing, the RRFB turns off.

Other tips for pedestrians:

  • 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.
  • Connecticut 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 Connecticut state law also requires pedestrians to enter the street with caution.

Other recent measures taken in Stamford to improve pedestrian safety are:

  • Illuminated "No Turn On Red" sign on Washington Blvd. at Tresser
  • Illuminated "Yield To Pedestrian" sig on Washington Blvd. at Tresser
  • Addition of fourth H.A.W.K. signal in front of Stamford High School
  • Painted 66 "SLOW SCHOOL" markings at the approach to public schools through Stamford
  • Re-marked many crosswalks throughout Stamford
  • Piloted delineators at Turn of River Road at High Ridge Road; Fifth Street near Revonah Avenue; and Hope Street and Clearview Avenue.

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