Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons or RRFBs are solar powered pedestrian crossings. The devices have LED lights and display intermittent rapid flashes when activated by a pedestrian. We currently have two of these beacons in Ward 12: Douglasdale Boulevard and Douglas Ridge Circle S.E., and Quarry Park Boulevard and Quarry Gate S.E. For almost two years, The City has been testing these RRFBs to gather feedback from community members and commuters in the southeast.
These beacons are significantly less costly to install and operate compared to the other overhead flashing beacons currently in use at pedestrian crossings (about 1/5 of the cost). They can supplement standard pedestrian warning signs and markings. They increase motorist awareness of pedestrians and studies have shown that they improve driver behaviour at crosswalks. Council has recently approved another 10-12 of these devices, and I asked that two of these be installed at Douglasdale Blvd and Douglas Woods Drive S.E., and McKenzie Towne Blvd and McKenzie Towne Avenue S.E.
Results have shown that the solar powered RRFBs are viable. Last week, I put forward a Notice of Motion to increase the budget for RRFBs. This would have increased the number from 10-12 to 20-24 RRFBs to be installed in other locations in the future. Unfortunately, Council defeated the motion 10-5. I want to boost the safety of southeast intersections by equipping crosswalks with these cost-effective flashing lights. I will continue to push Council to install more of these beacons and continue to keep Ward 12 informed of my request to install RRFBs in Douglasdale, McKenzie Towne and other areas.