The City of Bellaire will be turning on its first pedestrian cross walk traffic signal on S. Rice Avenue on April 2.
The new traffic signal, called a pedestrian hybrid beacon, is the first of its kind in Bellaire and will help pedestrians cross safely at the intersection of S. Rice and Bellaire Town Square.
The Bellaire City Council approved the $145,800 pedestrian signal last May after the need was identified by resident input and staff recommendations.
The Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon will provide a signalized pedestrian crossing at the mid-block location of S. Rice Ave in conjunction with a marked crosswalk. While slightly different in appearance, this signal functions very similarly to a conventional pedestrian signal in that it stops traffic to allow pedestrians to cross safely. RED still means STOP.
The system minimizes vehicle delay since it is only activated when a pedestrian is utilizing the crosswalk. The system is also energy efficient because the vehicle signal heads remain dark unless someone is crossing the street. A regular traffic control device was not justified based on engineering standards for installation of a conventional traffic signal.
When the pedestrian presses the button, approaching drivers will see a FLASHING YELLOW for a few seconds indicating that they should reduce speed and be prepared to stop for a pedestrian in the crosswalk. This is followed by a SOLID YELLOW and then by a solid RED requiring drivers to STOP at the stop line. At this point, the pedestrian receives a WALK indication on the associated countdown timer. At the end of the WALK indication, the pedestrian is displayed a FLASHING DON’T WALK indication and motorist sees an ALTERNATING FLASHING RED. During this period, motorists are required to STOP or remain stopped until pedestrians have finished crossing the street, and then may proceed.
More information about this system can be found on the city’s website at www.ci.bellaire.tx.us/signal.