MassDOT installs two pedestrian hybrid
beacons to improve pedestrian safety
Beacon Hill Times Report
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has installed two new pedestrian hybrid beacons at the intersection of Land Boulevard and Cambridge Parkway in Cambridge, which are intended to improve pedestrian safety in the area.
A pedestrian hybrid beacon is designed to warn drivers at an un-signalized location that they are at a crosswalk location so that drivers slow down and pedestrians are assisted in crossing a roadway. The new beacons are part of the Longfellow Bridge rehabilitation project.
A 2010 study by the Federal Highway Administration indicated use of the beacons decreased total crashes by 29 percent and pedestrian crashes by 69 percent.
“The new Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons are another tool MassDOT is using to promote pedestrian travel to and from work home and other events that will help keep them safe,” MassDOT Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin said. “Proper use of the beacons has become an effective method in reducing pedestrian crashes.”
State Rep. Jay Livingstone applauded MassDOT for emphasizing pedestrian safety: “I’m pleased that MassDOT has prioritized pedestrian safety by expediting the installation of these Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons so that people can safely cross this dangerous intersection.”
State Rep. Timothy Toomey thanked Administrator Tinlin for working to get the new beacons installed.
“High speeds and poor visibility can make Land Boulevard a dangerous area for pedestrians, and the new Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons will go a long way toward remedying that.” Toomey said. “I am thankful to Administrator Tinlin and his staff for working with Representative Livingstone and me to deliver these improvements earlier than was originally anticipated.”
Cambridge’s Assistant City Manager for Community Development Iram Farooq said the new beacons would help connect pedestrians to the Charles River area.
“Cambridge is pleased that the state was able to implement the signal as part of the Longfellow
Bridge project,” Farooq said. “Improving the pedestrian crossing at this intersection supports the city’s sustainable and active transportation goals, better connects residents and workers to the Charles River and supports our commitment to safety and Vision Zero.”
Brendan Kearney of WalkBoston added, “WalkBoston is pleased that walking and running safety measures have now been added in the project area, instead of waiting until the end of the construction process.”
The two beacons cost approximately $270,000.