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Crosswalk Beacons Enhance Safety for Pedestrians

New Crosswalk Beacons Enhance Safety for Woodinville Pedestrians
Posted on 03/01/2021
Councilmember Rachel Best-Campbell discusses the new rapid flashing crossing beacons with community member and Hagan employee James O'Neal

Pedestrians crossing the street from the Haggen Shopping Center and Target to nearby stores now have a reason to feel safer. This past February, the City installed rapid flashing crosswalk beacons at four locations downtown: two along Garden Way between NE 175th St and NE Mill Place, one along NE Mill Place between Woodinville-Snohomish Road and 140th Ave NE, and one at 140th Ave and NE 181st St.

Where people crossing at these locations previously waved orange flags to be seen, pedestrians now have the ability to push a button and activate a new crosswalk beacon. When activated, the beacon notifies nearby traffic with flashing lights and an auditory signal that someone is in the crosswalk. Crosswalk beacons such as these have been shown by the Federal Highway Administration to significantly increase driver yielding behavior by enhancing pedestrian visibility.

City Councilmember Rachel Best-Campbell, pictured above at one of the crosswalk locations with community member and Hagan employee James O’Neal, is happy to see this project nearing completion. As well as looking forward to using the newly improved crosswalks herself, she wants residents to know that “the City of Woodinville is committed to the health and safety of all pedestrians in our community.” Her message to drivers? “When you see someone in a crosswalk, give them a break and give them a smile and a wave because that’s what Woodinville does.”

In addition to the safety benefits they bring, the new crosswalk beacons are also energy efficient. They are the first solar powered beacons in the city. Each beacon is equipped with its own battery back-up to keep it working year-round, even in winter months. Before the project is closed out, City engineers will test the beacon equipment in a variety of conditions and restripe crosswalks as weather permits.

Looking to the future, the City will evaluate the impact on pedestrian safety at these four intersections and explore opportunities to install crosswalk beacons at additional locations throughout the City.