home

PBOT unveils new “Beacon Buddies” animated video

Posted by on June 2nd, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Still from “Beacon Buddies” video
produced by PBOT.
-Watch it below-

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has released a new animated video to educate the public about “rapid flash beacons.” As we reported back in November 2009 the beacons are PBOT’s preferred tool to improve the safety of mid-block crossings. Why? They’re cheap and they work.

At just $35,000 a piece, and study results that show a massive increase — from 18% to 80% — in the number of people who stop for someone crossing the road once they’re installed, the beacons are being rolled out at tricky crossings and on neighborhood greenway projects throughout the city.

To help educate the public (on both sides of the windshield) about these new devices, PBOT has once again teamed up with the Eugene-based Animated Traffic Law Center to create a short animated video about them . Check it out below…

Learn more about rapid flash beacons on PBOT’s website.

Email This Post Email This Post


Gravatars make better comments... Get yours here.
Please notify the publisher about offensive comments.
Comments
  • Nick V June 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    That kid would have been lost without the dog. What does that say about our nation’s youth? Personally I’m offended.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Nick June 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    So 82% of people disregarded the crosswalk laws before the beacons were put in? Where is all the outcry about scofflaw motorists?

    Also, what’s the best way to request these be installed at a particular crossing?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • John Lascurettes June 2, 2011 at 5:04 pm

      Nick. They’re not scofflaw motorists. They do after all pay for the roads in their entirety through user fees and are therefore more important than anyone else who might dare to use the road.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Spencer Boomhower June 3, 2011 at 10:42 am

        And it’s not like tons of metal can stop on a dime. Can’t argue with gravity.

        (http://bikeportland.org/2011/05/31/salem-watch-distracted-pedestrians-and-crosswalk-safety-bill-under-fire-53927)

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Loki June 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm

          Back to school for you! It’s inertia, not gravity.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Spencer Boomhower June 4, 2011 at 11:41 pm

            @Loki: Actually I was sarcastically poking fun at a politician who confused gravity with inertia (follow my link), but somehow I knew it would come off as utterly sincere. :)

            For the record I actually think people on foot receive a disproportionate amount of blame for unsafe behavior and collisions. And that “cars can’t stop on a dime” statement is frequently the rallying call of people who can’t be bothered to take responsibility for the danger they present to other road users.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

      • ron June 3, 2011 at 12:42 pm

        Wrong. Most road expenses are paid through fees other than gas taxes…

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • A.K. June 3, 2011 at 1:16 pm

          WOOSH

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • John Lascurettes June 3, 2011 at 10:33 pm

            Thanks, A.K. I think the sarcasm went high over his head and hit the wall.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Paul Johnson June 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm

        Not stopping for pedestrians at marked or unmarked pedestrian crossings is against the law with or without the beacons…

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • BURR June 2, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    do we really need a video for this? Isn’t it sort of a no-brainer?

    and if we do need a video, who’s going to make sure all the scofflaw motorists see it?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 2, 2011 at 6:00 pm

      Well, one way the scofflaws might see it is when they are standing in line at the DMV… which is where they got the “Every corner is a crosswalk” video to play on a loop.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • are June 2, 2011 at 9:10 pm

        have not seen any concrete results of that yet. maybe no one ever goes to DMV

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Paul Johnson June 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm

      I think a video is pretty ineffectual when this really is a licensing issue…

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • deborah June 2, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    I’ve lived in an area that had very similar pedestrian indicator flashing treatments for crosswalks, and they absolutely save lives. Seems like a GREAT idea considering all the people that were killed in crosswalks in the Portland area last year alone.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • JJJ June 2, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    I live near a similar treatment in California. The signs flash and lights embedded in the road flash. Id say 99% of cars stop. And when the pedestrian is finished, cars that come later, while the lights are still on, slow down from 40mph to around 15-20mph.

    The downside is that at every other unmarked crosswalk all along the same road, Id put compliance at close to 0%.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • are June 2, 2011 at 9:12 pm

      what an excellent observation. soon we will be hearing from motorists about those d*mn pedestrians who insist on crossing where there is no beacon.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • El Biciclero June 3, 2011 at 9:42 am

        Hey, come on–if it’s less than a mile to walk to the nearest beacon, what’s the big deal? Aren’t pedestrians just out lollygagging around with nowhere to be? And why do those cyclists insist on riding where there are no bike lanes? And all bikes should be licensed and pay the same registration fee as cars!

        Oops–I must have been reading too many Oregonian comments.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • dsaxena June 2, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Jonathan, does PBOT have a list of intersections where they plan to install these publicly available?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • jim June 4, 2011 at 10:29 pm

      I would guess they are intended for non-intersection crossings where people have a hard time crossing

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Paul Hanrahan June 2, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    It’s interesting what JJJ said about the lack of compliance at the other crosswalks that do not have the flashing lights. I wonder if they have done a study on the effect of the flashing light crosswalk having a negative compliance effect on the other, non flashing crosswalks.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Schrauf June 2, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    $35,000? Holy crap. Retrofitting is so expensive – most of the cost is probably tearing up and repaving asphalt to install the wiring. I bet on new construction the incremental cost would be $10,000 or less. $35k is nevertheless worth it at some problem crossings.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Randall S. June 3, 2011 at 2:56 pm

      Roads cost anywhere from $750,000 to $3.5million/mile to build. $35,000 (even each) seems pretty cheap to me.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Tim June 3, 2011 at 7:31 am

    The first time I saw one of these I nearly rolled through the crossing. I was wondering what all the flashing was about and almost didn’t notice the pedestrian crossing. However, I think most people never notice pedestrain crossings but would notice the flasshing lights.

    Without enforcement, all laws are mearly suggestings for the law abiding and worthless hot air for those who don’t care.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Editz June 3, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
    Well, one way the scofflaws might see it is when they are standing in line at the DMV… which is where they got the “Every corner is a crosswalk” video to play on a loop.

    A better idea is to have local television stations air it as a public service since they’ve been granted use of the public airwaves. Time to pay back.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Ryno Dan June 3, 2011 at 10:08 am

    This video shows (right at the beginning) that even at a marked crosswalk, motor vehicles don’t stop for pedestrians.
    What would be cool is if the video showed the PPD ticketing such motorists.
    Anyway, if this was a red light, there would be 99.9 % compliance, and no video needed.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • velowocky June 3, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I like that the light bars flash horizontally. Here in LO they recently installed flashing yellow lights for a ped crossing (like the type you might see in a school zone) and at first it’s not obvious why they are even flashing. This new design is great though- it gets your attention and tells you immediately that a pedestrian is waiting to cross.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • jim June 4, 2011 at 10:22 am

    This is just another big waste of tax payers money (making the video I mean)
    The lights are great, I really like them. Any motorist is going to notice those bright flashing strobes, and are very likely to stop. The video is’nt going to make one ioda of a difference of how well they work. This is 100% waste of money. The money they spent on the video could have been spent on more crossing lights. sigh :(

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • mabsf June 6, 2011 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Jim,
      unfortunately nothing works in this country without PR… that is also one of the reason why we still need “Drive less, Safe more”… and when you think that the car industry spends about 60 Billion on PR per year… a little video is an atom of water on a very large stone…

      And about the kid being lost without its dog: It’s not always the fault of the kids – I know many parents who are terrified to let their kids walk even the shortest distance by themselves because of fear of strangers and cars… hence the parents drive their kids everywhere…

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • poncho June 4, 2011 at 11:58 am

    i’d prefer retractable bollards rise out of the street when the button is activated… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRPEW2OMIU8

    am i the only one who is troubled that pedestrians have to press a button to get permission to cross their street? and by the looks of the video they have to press it again in the middle of the street. even with this installed, cars still rule the street. its no 99% guarantee they’ll stop light like a red traffic light.

    and a discuss needs to be had about the crosswalk times, i’m a young able bodied person and i can barely make it across many suburban streets in the time allotted by traffic engineers. 10 seconds to cross a 6 lane arterial is certainly not enough time for seniors and the disabled

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • jim June 4, 2011 at 12:48 pm

      Poncho- Your not the only one that has trouble with the time to cross. I would think the yellow strobes would make a safer crossing than any of the others.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Paul Johnson June 4, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      Odds of vehicles stopping on red here are very low, westside moreso than eastside. It’s one of the things that makes Portland so unlivable.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • poncho June 4, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    correction
    *its no 99% guarantee they’ll stop as is the case at a red traffic light.*

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • poncho June 5, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Spencer Boomhower
    @Loki: Actually I was sarcastically poking fun at a politician who confused gravity with inertia (follow my link), but somehow I knew it would come off as utterly sincere. :)
    For the record I actually think people on foot receive a disproportionate amount of blame for unsafe behavior and collisions. And that “cars can’t stop on a dime” statement is frequently the rallying call of people who can’t be bothered to take responsibility for the danger they present to other road users.

    Agreed, though to some degree its true when all your roads and streets built for speed as dragstrips. We need to bring speeds down to 20 mph (or lower given that stupidrule of thumb that you can drive +10 mph) so that motorists can safely stop on a dime. Plus if the sales pitch is that they can go from “zero to 60(mph)” in a few seconds, I think they can also go from 60 to zero in a few seconds, cars aren’t mile long freight trains.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Paul Johnson June 5, 2011 at 10:17 am

      poncho

      Spencer Boomhower
      (or lower given that stupidrule of thumb that you can drive +10 mph)

      You mean the one that only exists if you’re driving an ambulance in response to a call?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • JimJim June 5, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Way out west in Forest Grove, there are two similar flashing lights that are operated by a motion detector. Just walk up to the sidewalk’s edge, the lights flash, and traffic in both lanes slows and stops. The speed limit there is 35, but the road also “bottlenecks” down so traffic typically flows at 30 or less.

    Very effective — they use more standard flashing yellow caution lights with no need for training videos. Also, the lights are mounted high enough that traffic can see the flashing from a block away.

    I wonder if drivers might see these “rapid flash” things and wonder what the heck is that? I mean, why not regular flashing yellow?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

- Daily bike news since 2005 -
BikePortland.org is a production of
PedalTown Media Inc.
321 SW 4th Ave, Ste. 401
Portland, OR 97204

Powered by WordPress. Theme by Clemens Orth.
Subscribe to RSS feed


Original images and content owned by Pedaltown Media, Inc. - Not to be used without permission.