The city will be hiring a consultant to prioritize intersections in terms of requests for flashing pedestrian lights. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

City seeing demand for flashing beacons at Salmon Arm crosswalks

Consultant to be hired to help determine priority safety program for lights

They might not be as popular as an iPhone 11 or a Fitbit, but apparently a lot of people in Salmon Arm have been asking for an RRFB.

That’s a Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacon crossing – or a pedestrian crosswalk signal intended to increase safety by drawing attention to the crosswalk and the person using it.

At the request of city staff, on Nov. 25 council agreed to move $12,500 in the pedestrian signals budget toward hiring a consultant to set up a prioritized safety program for installing the flashing lights.

Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s director of engineering and public works, explained to council that in the past few years, the city has been installing flashing lights at various crosswalks such as those in high traffic areas around schools.

“Now we’re coming to a point where we’re getting a lot of requests for these lights,” he said, explaining the city doesn’t have a system for determining which locations warrant them first.

Read more: Cameras on more Shuswap school buses to catch inattentive drivers

Read more: Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

He said the city has been working with ICBC staff who proposed sharing the cost of a report. ICBC will chip in $15,000 to be added to the city’s $12,500.

The consultant will review locations within the community and, by a criteria award system, will create a program so city staff will have a basis for making decisions.

“It will give us the ability to provide these flashers at the right locations,” said Niewenhuizen.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

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