Evaluation of the Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon at a Pinellas Trail Crossing in St. Petersburg, Florida

This report is an evaluation of the installation of the rectangular rapid flash beacon (RRFB) where the Pinellas Trail crosses 22nd Avenue N, a busy four-lane, urban street in St. Petersburg, Florida. The unit has two rectangular yellow LED indicators which flash rapidly in a wig-wag sequence. It is solar-powered, radio controlled, and activated by trail users. The experimental design was to collect data of trail users before and after the installation of the RRFB. Videotape data were collected with a camera set up on a stepladder beside the trail and several hundred feet from the actual trail crossing. Supplemental data were also collected on scene by staff from the Neighborhood Transportation section, an office within the city government. From an analysis of the videotape data, trail user delay before starting to cross was reduced after installation of the RRFB. Bicyclists and pedestrians yielded considerably less, and motorists considerably more, after the installation. Overall, motorist yielding increased from 2% before to 35% after. When the flasher was activated, motorist yielding was 54%. In the before period, 82% of the trail users were able to cross all the way across the intersection, while 18% stopped in the middle. In the after period, 94% of the trail users were able to cross all the way across the intersection, while 6% stopped in the middle. Similar results were obtained from the on-scene data. Overall, the installation of the RRFB increased the safety of trail users at the crossing. However, the device is not fail safe, and communities employing the device, especially at trail crossings, should take note of this. Perhaps some additional education effort would be helpful in (1) increasing the percentage of trail users pushing the button, and (2) increasing motorists’ knowledge about the requirement to yield to pedestrians in such crossings. Perhaps of more benefit would be periodic police enforcement operations, or the development of a passive system.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 30p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01148554
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Contract Numbers: BA784
  • Created Date: Dec 28 2009 3:31PM