‘Rapid Flash Beacons’ coming to fatal crosswalk on SE Foster

A Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon at work.
(Photo taken from video by beacon manufacturer)

A new type of crossing treatment is set for installation on SE Foster near 80th — the same location where two people were fatally wounded back in November.

PBOT sources confirm that crews will install a Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon in the coming weeks where Jennifer Leonard and her friend Jessica Finlay were hit on November 1st, 2009. Leonard was killed instantly and Finlay died in January from injuries sustained in the collision.

Following that incident, activists staged a demonstration at the crosswalk calling on the City of Portland to make it safer for people trying to cross the street.

As we reported back in November, these treatments have proven effective in evaluations by the Federal Highway Administration. PBOT plans to install them at three locations along NE 33rd this year (at Going, Klickitat, and Holman) as part of their efforts to provide safe crossings where bicycle boulevards cross larger streets.

These beacons cost about $35,000 a piece and begin flashing almost immediately after being activated via a push-button.

Mayor Adams is expected to make a full statement about the new crossing beacons later this week.

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