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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Drivers are paying attention, reports initial compliance studies conducted at the City’s three recently-installed flashing beacon crosswalks.
In early October, Springfield Public Works equipped three neighborhood crosswalks with Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons, also known as RRFBs. The new signals are pedestrian-activated devices that can be easily seen by drivers from longer distances, providing more time for drivers to slow down and yield.
Three sets of RRFBs were installed at crosswalks located on Blackman Road across from Dan Kinney Park, Walnut Lawn and Broadway Avenue and at Grant Avenue and Calhoun Street.
“Previously, these crossing locations were problematic, with only about one in ten drivers stopping for a pedestrian,” explains Traffic Safety Professional Mandy Buettgen-Quinn.
With the installation of the new beacons, initial compliance studies conducted by the City’s Traffic Operations division indicate an improvement from one in ten drivers stopping, to approximately seven in ten drivers yielding to pedestrians waiting to cross.
“The greatest improvement has been seen at Grant Avenue and Calhoun Street, where studies originally showed that only 4% of drivers stopped,” said Buettgen-Quinn. “With the RRFB now in place, the percentage of drivers stopping is 73%. These devices help and drivers are taking notice.”
Along with the City’s regular quarterly crosswalk compliance studies, Buettgen-Quinn says they will continue to study RRFB locations as education efforts continue in the community.
General crosswalk compliance numbers for the fourth quarter of 2020 continue at around 43% of drivers complying, on average. This number represents an improvement of 18 percentage points from when quarterly assessments began in early 2019.
The quarterly assessment, performed by the Public Works Traffic Operations division since 2017, evaluates driver compliance at six crosswalk sites with similar traffic speeds and characteristics. Two locations are studied every quarter as a control group. The remaining sites are selected from each of the four City Council zones. Results from each location are averaged to produce a snapshot of driver compliance across town.
For more information on RRFB operation, crosswalk compliance studies and the City’s efforts to increase pedestrian safety, follow SGF Yields on facebook at facebook.com/sgfyields or visit the program webpage at springfieldmo.gov/sgfyields.
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For more information, contact Communication Coordinator Kristen Milam at 573-819-3713 or [email protected].