Building a Walkable Future: Columbus Puts Crosswalk Beacons on Its Forward-Thinking Agenda

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What do crosswalk beacons have to do with building a vibrant community? Columbus, Ohio, can tell you.

Each year Columbus, Ohio receives more than 60 requests for crosswalk improvements across the city. For the officials considering these requests the crosswalks represent more than just pedestrian safety, they represent an opportunity to help the community achieve its forward-thinking agenda of a sustainable, walkable, and vibrant city atmosphere.

Each year the City of Columbus receives more than 60 requests for crosswalk improvements.

Columbus is taking its place among cities across the US that are recognizing the value of walkable urban spaces. Studies are showing that the walkability of a city is a major draw for young and creative talent, as well as the baby boomer generation – all of whom value safe, comfortable, and convenient access to amenities, public transit, and their places of employment.

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The movement is putting community planning on a new path towards multi-modal transportation infrastructure, increased pedestrian service levels, and compact development principles. And Columbus is keeping step. Recently, the City hosted “Advancing Ohio’s Urban Agenda: Walkable Communities for Globally Competitive Cities”, a forum that brought local developers and officials from the Urban Land Institute, the Smart Growth America LOCUS program, and Columbus district council together to discuss the City’s agenda for future growth.

But the City isn’t just talking about the principles of walkability, they’re also taking action. Recently the City of Columbus, Department of Public Service released a study outlining the process and criteria officials will use to determine where and what kind of crosswalk enhancements will best improve pedestrian service levels in the city.

Leveraging NCHRP Report 562 and FHWA standard categorizations, officials will use criteria such as vehicle speeds, road volume, and pedestrian volume to determine which uncontrolled crossings require safety enhancements. The NCHRP worksheet process is employed and once a crossing has met the criteria as an “enhanced/active” crossing, the City looks to rectangular rapid flashing beacon (RRFB) technology for help.

Read more on how Columbus is utilizing Carmanah crosswalk beacons:

Download this Case Study Learn more about RRFBs


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