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Pedestrians, Motorists, and Cyclists may notice changes to a few of the city pedestrian crossings over the next couple weeks.
As part of the 2A trails accommodations tax, City of Steamboat Springs Capital Improvements Funding, and CDOT US40 resurfacing project, enhanced pedestrian crosswalk warnings called Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) will be installed at several crosswalk locations around town. RRFBs are user-actuated amber LEDs that provide supplemental warning at unsignalized intersections or mid-block crosswalks. The RRFB is activated by pedestrians manually by a push button initiating an irregular flash pattern that is similar to emergency flasherson police vehicles. The modifications at the crosswalks do not change any of the legal obligations of vehicles to stop for pedestrians at marked crosswalks. The RRFB is intended to provide additional awareness at crosswalks that a pedestrian is present and is actively crossing the roadway. Vehicles must yield to pedestrians entering any striped crosswalk. Motorists may also notice the installation of Yield Bars (triangular markings painted in front of the crosswalks). Vehicles are required to stop behind the yield bar markings. The use of RRFBs has been shown to improve compliance four-fold of the number of vehicles correctly yielding to pedestrians compared to conventional signage..RRFB locations:• Amethyst Drive & E Maple Street• E. Maple Street & McKinley Street• Mt. Werner Drive & Core Trail Crossing (near Rotary Park)• Mt. Werner Circle & Burgess Creek Road (Steamboat Grand to parking structure)• Mt Werner Circle at Knoll Lot Crossing to Gondola Transit Center• US Hwy 40 & Dream Island (West bound transit stop)
These stop locations were evaluated based on frequency of pedestrian/vehicular conflict, location of the crossing along a designated Safe Route to School, and specific considerations such as the speed of vehicles, number of lanes crossed, and sight distance restrictions.
Bicyclists: Bicyclists are reminded that they are legally considered a vehicle, even if riding along the Core Trail. Vehicles are required to stop and yield at intersections similar to the operation of motorists at a typical intersection. The presence of a crosswalk and the actuation of an RRFB does not give bicyclists right of way over motorists unless the bicyclist has dismounted and legally become a pedestrian. As a vehicle, bicyclists are required by law to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. Bicyclists approaching any striped crosswalk including actuated RRFB are required by law to stop for pedestrians.
Pedestrians: Please continue to approach all crossings with caution and do not assume all vehicles are going to yield. Try to make eye contact with the driver of a vehicle prior to stepping into the crosswalk. Parents, please relay to your children the importance of “crossing defensively”.
1The two known studies of stutter flash were both conducted in Florida–one in Miami Beach and one in St. Petersburg. They are:Sherbutt, J., R. Van Houten, and S. Turner. "An Analysis of the Effects of Stutter Flash LED Beacons to Increase Yielding to Pedestrians Using Multilane Crosswalks." Presented at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, 2008.Van Houten, R., R. Ellis, and E. Marmolejo. "The Use of Stutter Flash LED Beacons to Increase Yielding to Pedestrians at Crosswalks." Presented at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, 2008.