RRFBs: Helping pedestrians cross streets safely

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RRFBs: Helping pedestrians cross streets safely

What are RRFBs? You may have unknowingly seen them in your community, often found near schools, parks or highly visited businesses. Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons are traffic control devices located at both ends of a crosswalk, increasing pedestrian safety by raising awareness for motorists.

Illinois law requires motorists to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. RRFBs help support this law by alerting motorists of pedestrians or bicyclists waiting to use or already proceeding in a crosswalk. RRFBs include bright yellow, flashing warning lights and yellow diamond-shaped pedestrian crossing signs facing both directions of traffic. Each RRFB, located at both ends of the crosswalk, consists of a push button that pedestrians use to activate the warning lights when they want to use the crosswalk. The lights prompt drivers to stop, offering pedestrians and bicyclists a clear path to cross the street more safely.

Before entering the crosswalk, pedestrians should always pause and look both ways to ensure vehicles have halted in both directions and cautiously move forward within the designated bounds. This flyer explains how RRFBs work in more detail.

District 4 installed its first set of RRFBs in 2018 on Knoxville Avenue in Peoria in front of a head start school as part of a resurfacing project. In 2020, six more RRFBs with bumpouts, sections of the street where sidewalks extend into the roadway designed to encourage slower traffic speeds and expand space to pedestrians, were installed as part of a Highway Safety Improvement Program. These installations were in response to being identified as three areas with a history of pedestrian crashes.

Nine more RRFBs were installed through East Peoria and Washington at various mid-block intersections. These locations were selected partly because local agencies requested them as safety measures due to their proximity to schools, parks or highly visited businesses.

The cost of the Peoria, East Peoria and Washington projects was $675,000, including RRFBs installation, striping and curb ramp and median work. The cost to install a single RRFB is approximately $4,000 to $6,000.