Warning devices to be installed between Holden and 36th Street
To increase pedestrian safety on a stretch of U.S. 441 (South Orange Blossom Trail), construction is starting on a number of special signals that will allow individuals to cross the road safely with the push of a button.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is installing six pedestrian hybrid beacons, or PHBs, between Holden Avenue and 36th Street at a cost of about $780,000. Two beacons will be placed at each of the three existing mid-block pedestrian crossings. Improvements also include enhanced lighting to increase the visibility of pedestrians at each crossing.
Construction is estimated to be complete in early 2020, barring any delays caused by weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
During construction, pedestrian access at the three mid-block crossings will be maintained and motorists should expect single lane closures between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Electronic message boards and other signage will be used to direct traffic.
Please note the schedule could change due to weather and other unforeseen circumstances.
What are PHBs?
PHBs are a special type of signal installed at pedestrian crossings and are used to warn and control traffic as pedestrians cross the roadway. These signals are typically installed mid-block but should be treated just like a traffic signal at an intersection.
How do PHBs work?
PHBs stay dark until activated when a pedestrian pushes a button typically located on a pole or post on the roadside. Once the button is pushed, the indicator lights will begin to flash yellow to warn motorists that the signal has been activated. These lights are then followed by a solid yellow light and then two solid red lights that signal motorists to come to a complete stop.
Subsequently, pedestrians receive a “Walk” signal followed by a flashing countdown that indicates how much time is left to cross the street. During the flashing countdown, drivers will see red lights flashing alternately that should be treated like a stop sign, meaning cars should stop, then proceed through the crosswalk if it’s clear.
Once the cycle is finished, drivers will see the indicator lights go dark and pedestrians will have a “Don’t Walk” signal. Vehicles can then proceed with caution.
PHBs have been shown to reduce pedestrian crashes and increase the compliance rate for drives stopping for pedestrian. According to a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) study published in 2010, PHBs can reduce pedestrian crashes by 69 percent and total crashes by 29 percent. Because the beacons stay dark until activated, they help increase awareness for drivers to stop for pedestrians and help reduce rear-end collisions.
FDOT urges all drivers to stay alert and use caution while driving through or near construction zones. When driving, walking, or bicycling, remember to pay attention and follow the rules. Safety doesn’t happen by accident.