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Efficacy of Rectangular-shaped Rapid Flash LED Beacons


This evaluation examined research in St. Petersburg, FL. on the efficacy of the rectangular LED stutter flash beacon and the efficacy of a rectangular side mounted stutter-flash LED beacon system to increase motorist yielding to pedestrians in St. Petersburg, FL. Because the percentage of drivers yielding to pedestrians during baseline was so low in the city of St. Petersburg this evaluation represented a rigorous test of the rectangular stutter flash crossing system. This study reports on the day and nighttime effects of these devices on several roads in the city of St. Petersburg as well as long term citywide follow-up citywide data collected at 18 sites. We also compared the efficacy of the rectangular stutter flash beacon with a standard overhead flashing yellow beacon and a side-mounted standard flashing yellow beacon. The results indicated that the device increased yielding levels from single digit or low levels up to 20% to 30% to between 80 and 90% at most sites, and that yielding levels persisted for up to two years and did not decline over time. At several multilane pedestrians crossings the device produced yielding levels that are equivalent to a traffic signal. No other device without a red indication has produced similar yielding data. It is our recommendation that this system replace the ITS crosswalks in the city crosswalk report. These data are similar to those obtained in the city of Miami, FL. Based on these findings and the relatively low cost of this device we have recommended changes to the installation warrant allowing installation at other sites where it can be beneficial to the community.

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