Lafayette Leverages Grant to Make Walking to School Safer with Beacon Technology

3 min. read
April 26, 2018

An installation of rectangular rapid flashing crosswalk beacons and school zone warning flashers is enabling students in Lafayette, CO, to get active.

The health and wellbeing of students in Lafayette, Colorado, has received a lot of focus lately. In fact, the national spotlight recently turned to Lafayette when the HealthierUS School Challenge recognized the efforts of three elementary schools in promoting good nutrition and physical activity among students. Lafayette Elementary School, Ryan Elementary School, and Alicia Sanchez International Elementary School all received recognition. And now, just in time for the start of the school year, the City of Lafayette is providing a new component to help promote safe and active lifestyles for students – enhanced pedestrian accessibility.

Lafayette, Ryan, and Alicia Sanchez International schools all experienced daily traffic volumes that made walking and biking to school difficult for parents and children. Installing much-needed beacons to draw awareness to crosswalks and speed limit signage was problematic due to limited funding for such projects. Luckily, as a strong proponent of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program, the City of Lafayette knew that SRTS offered funding that could help.

“We knew beacons were needed,” says Jenny Conlon with the Lafayette Public Works Department. “But funding was a barrier, so we put together a grant application to SRTS in the hopes that they could help.”

While funding was a central consideration, the City also had to decide on an appropriate beacon solution for their needs. That’s where John Snider at Gades Sales, Carmanah’s authorized Colorado distributor, came in. John was able to produce a letter from a customer who had similar needs in Oklahoma. The letter provided a glowing review of Gades’ customer service and touted the performance of Carmanah solar beacons. After that the decision was an easy one for Lafayette.
Rapid flashing beacon in school zone
Not only was the product backed by customer recommendations, Carmanah solar beacons were also an ideal fit with Lafayette’s focus on sustainability. With solar installations on facilities like the recreation center and public library, and solar garden array systems throughout the City, Carmanah solar beacons will contribute to Lafayette’s overall renewable energy movement.

Once the City’s SRTS grant was approved, an order was placed for Carmanah R920 solar rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) and R829 solar-powered school zone flashing beacons.  In addition to facilitating the safe crossing of students and parents at the schools’ marked crosswalks, beacons will draw drivers’ attention to posted speed limits.

“We hope this will increase the number of children walking and biking to school,” says Conlon. “For parents, we hope the new beacons will increase feelings of safety. For drivers, we hope the beacons will create a new awareness of the speed limits and the presence of students and parents on sidewalks and in crosswalks.”

Installation of the beacons will begin in July and will be supported by educational efforts to inform the public about the new technology and to educate students and parents about the availability and use of new, safer pedestrian crossings.

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About Gades Sales

Gades Sales Co. is Carmanah’s authorized distributor in Colorado.
There is a reason Gades Sales is part of Carmanah’s team of top-notch distributors. In business since the 1940s, Gades is one of the most experienced traffic supply companies in the Midwest and they have demonstrated a genuine commitment to their customers. John Snider, Gades’ Colorado Sales Representative, put this commitment into action when he stepped in to assist the City of Lafayette with school zone improvements. The process took two years to complete, but John was there to help with everything from product specification to delivery of brand new solar flashing school zone beacons, and rectangular rapid flashing crosswalk beacons into the City’s hands. This is the kind of guidance and service Carmanah entrusts to the experts at Gades. It’s nice to have that kind of service on your side.

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