Whether walking, biking, or rolling across the street, our crosswalks should be safe for everyone.…
Featured Picture: RFFBs at the intersection of N. Thacker Ave. and the Kissimmee Trail
In the past year, three crosswalks monitored by the Best Foot Forward program in Osceola County have seen significant increases in driver yield rates after the installation of rectangular rapid-flashing beacons (RRFBs). RRFBs are relatively low-cost traffic control devices that emit amber LED lights to increase driver awareness of pedestrians in the roadway. According to research by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, RRFBs can reduce crashes up to 47% for pedestrian crashes.
Last winter, the City of Kissimmee took action by installing an RRFB at the intersection of N. Thacker Ave. and the Kissimmee Trail. Prior to installation, only 38% of drivers were yielding to pedestrians at this intersection according to data collected by the Best Foot Forward program. After the installation, the average driver yield rate jumped to 70%. This location on the Kissimmee Trail has a mix of residential housing and commercial businesses and is within walking distance of Highlands Elementary School. It has been chosen as an enforcement location for Operation Best Foot Forward (OBFF) ten times, with officers handing out 276 total warnings and citations to drivers who failed to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
Rapid-flashing beacons (RRFBs) located at Mill Run Blvd. and Mill Slough Rd.
Around the same time, Kissimmee also installed a second RRFB at the intersection of Mill Run Boulevard and Mill Slough Road, a residential area within walking distance of multiple churches, schools and LYNX bus stops. Officers from the Kissimmee Police Department have issued 59 warnings and citations during two OBFF enforcements at this crosswalk. Prior to the installation, this location had an average driver yield rate of just 26%. After installation of the RRFB, the average driver yield rate increased to 70% as well, the largest improvement of any active crosswalk monitored by Best Foot Forward this year.
Rapid-flashing beacons (RRFBs) located at the intersection of Buenaventura Blvd. and Oakwood Drive.
In the months following these upgrades in Kissimmee, Osceola County engineers also installed a new RRFB at the intersection of Buenaventura Blvd. and Oakwood Drive. This location is a mixed residential/commercial area near several popular parks and within walking distance of Ventura Elementary School. Shortly before installation, data collectors measured drivers yielding to pedestrians at this crosswalk just 29% of the time. Since then, early results have shown 67% of drivers yielding to pedestrians here.
RRFBs are just one of many tools used by traffic engineers to increase driver yield rates at pedestrian crosswalks. In conjunction with city and county partners, Best Foot Forward continuously monitors intersections throughout Central Florida to recommend countermeasures that enhance pedestrian safety.