REDINGTON BEACH – Redington Beach plans to dramatically improve pedestrian safety along Gulf Boulevard by buying four solar-powered pedestrian crosswalk safety beacons.
The beacons are push-button activated as the pedestrian prepares to enter the crosswalk. The flashing beacon will illuminate, warning motorists that a pedestrian is in the crosswalk. Two beacons will be placed at 158th Avenue and two at 163rd Avenue.
According to the manufacturer Carmanah, the solar panels, batteries and all electronics are contained in one solar engine at the top of the pole. That factor eliminates the need for cumbersome battery or control cabinets that are common targets for vandals and potential hazards for pedestrians.
Vice Mayor Leslie Peck-Epstein, who serves as public safety commissioner, said, improving pedestrian safety in Redington Beach along Gulf Boulevard is an ongoing effort and concern.
“The beacons will help alert drivers that pedestrians are entering the crosswalk. Having seen pedestrian crosswalk beacons in use in St. Petersburg and elsewhere, I had conversations with the Florida Department of Transportation and then recommended to the board that we budget for them,” she said.
“Based on the recommendation of our Planning Board they will be located at 158th Street beach access crosswalk and the 163rd beach access crosswalk,” she said.
Peck-Epstein said the Florida Department of Transportation only allows for two additional sets of lights within the town since there is a conventional traffic signal at 161st Avenue. The town’s Planning Board chose the locations for the beacons to best serve the entire community.
“I want to urge our residents to use these crosswalk beacons and tell their children and neighbors to use them and always continue to use caution when crossing Gulf Boulevard. It will take awhile for the beacons to be ordered and installed but the town has placed a high priority on the project,” she said.