Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon
At a five lane crossing heavy with pedestrian traffic flowing to and from the U.C. Davis Children’s Hospital, the City’s Public Works Department has installed a new concept for California in traffic technology at Stockton Boulevard and Sherman Way. See aerial map of where the beacon is installed.
The pedestrian hybrid beacon is designed to stop vehicles, through a series of steady and flashing yellow and red lights, at crosswalks and give pedestrians a controlled crossing. The hybrid beacon will also be synchronized with adjacent traffic signals to minimize traffic congestion. Previously, the crosswalk used in-pavement flashers and pedestrian warning signs.
City staff re-evaluated the crosswalk when the street was resurfaced in July. In conjunction with U.C. Davis staff, they concluded a device that stopped drivers when activated by pedestrians would be a better fit for this particular intersection.
About The Device
The hybrid beacon operates much like a traffic signal, but costs three times less than a traditional traffic signal averaging $300,000. The cost for the equipment and labor, approximately $85,000, is being split with the hospital. The posted speed limit is 35 miles per hour and vehicle traffic at this intersection is estimated at 24,000 vehicles per day.
Pedestrians activate the beacon when ready to cross, otherwise the beacon is dark and motorists proceed as usual, while pedestrians receive a Don’t Walk. The sequence for the hybrid beacon is below.
- Dark until activated by pedestrian push button.
- Flashing yellow light for motorists and Don’t Walk for pedestrians.
- Steady yellow light for motorists and Don’t Walk for pedestrians.
- Steady red light for motorists and Walk for pedestrians.
- Alternating flashing red light for motorists and flashing Don’t Walk for pedestrians. Motorists must come to a complete stop then proceed when safe.
- Dark again for motorists and Don’t Walk for pedestrians.
The City will be considering other intersections where the device may be useful for pedestrians and drivers.