Evaluation of Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon at Pinellas Trail Crossing in Saint Petersburg, Florida Academic Article uri icon


  • The performance of a pedestrian safety device, the rectangular rapid flash beacon (RRFB), was evaluated at a street crossing of Florida's Pinellas Trail, a shared-use path where the majority of trail users were bicyclists. An elevated video camera beside the trail and several hundred feet from the crossing was used to collect before-and-after data for more than 1,000 bicyclists and pedestrians. The delay before trail users began to cross was reduced after the RRFB was installed. Bicyclists and pedestrians yielded considerably less, and motorists considerably more, after the installation. Yielding by motorists increased from 2% before to 35% after installation of the RRFB. When the flasher was activated, motorist yielding was 54%. In the before period, 82% of trail users were able to cross the intersection, whereas 18% were trapped in the middle. In the after period, these values were 94% and 6%, respectively. Installation of the RRFB increased the safety of trail users at the crossing. However, the device is not fail-safe, and communities that use it at trail crossings should be aware of this limitation. Education could help increase the percentage of trail users who push the button to activate the RRFB and increase motorist knowledge about the requirement to yield to pedestrians at crossings. Periodic police enforcement or the development of a passive detection system could also be helpful.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Hunter, W. W., Srinivasan, R., & Martell, C. A.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Hunter, William W||Srinivasan, Raghavan||Martell, Carol A

publication date

  • January 2012