Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB)
Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) are traffic safety warning devices that use LED lights to emit rapid flashing (wig-wag) lights to drivers to alert them of the presence of pedestrians in the crosswalk. Originally tested and used in Florida, they are now used in several States including North Carolina.
Five RRFB units will be installed in Cary at four crossing locations as part of the Town's Greenway Mid-Block Pedestrian Crossing Project:
- NW Maynard Rd for the Black Creek Greenway crossing at the entrance to Godbold Park
- West Dynasty Dr for the Black Creek Greenway crossing west of Sudbury Dr
- Jenks Carpenter Rd for the White Oak Greenway crossing north of Fryars Creek Dr
- Morrisville Pkwy for the American Tobacco Trail crossing east of East Ferrell Rd
How They are Used
The lights are activated by a pushbutton used by the pedestrian as they wait to cross the
roadway. Pedestrians are expected to wait until drivers yield before entering the crosswalk. The LED lights are timed to allow time for the vehicles to yield while continuing to flash as the pedestrians cross the roadway. Drivers are expected to follow State law and yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
The RRFBs will be active all day allowing for activations during early morning and evening hours for commuter trail users. The units are solar powered so they will not be subject to power interruption during power outages.
Safety Features of RRFBs and the Greenway Mid-Block Pedestrian Crossing Project
Studies have found that RRFBs have been able to improve the rate at which drivers yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk from 10-20% to 70-85%. To view these studies and to find more information on the safety of RRFBs, please visit the FHWA Safety webpage one RRFB units: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/intersection/resources/techsum/fhwasa09009/
The Greenway Mid-Block Pedestrian Crossing project will also include the construction of a pedestrian and bicycle refuge in the median on NW Maynard Rd. The refuge will provide a large waiting area for trail users as well as hand rails and access to the RRFB units. Providing this type of refuge will help trail users as it allows them to cross one direction of travel on NW Maynard Rd at a time. Also, RRFB units are installed in the median, allowing users to activate the RRFB for each crossing, independently.