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City installs rectangular rapid flash beacons in East Boston

October 5, 2017


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In an effort to improve pedestrian safety, and as a part of realizing our Boston 2030 and Vision Zero goals, new rapid flash beacons have been installed in East Boston.

The Boston Transportation Department recently installed rectangular rapid flash beacons at the intersection of Bennington, Ashley and Blackinton Streets, near the Orient Heights MBTA Station.  This is the third location in East Boston where rectangular rapid flash beacons have recently been installed by BTD and the Public Works Department to enhance pedestrian safety.  The other locations in the neighborhood are the intersection of Saratoga Street and Barnes Avenue, and on Meridian Street at Gove, Havre and Decatur Streets.  Pedestrians are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the new safety equipment and push the button to activate the rapid flash beacons before crossing.

An image of a crosswalk with rectangular rapid flash beacons on both sides of the street.

Prioritizing moving people safely around the City is stated as a primary goal and target in the Go Boston 2030 Action Plan and it is consistent with the City of Boston’s Vision Zero goals to eliminate fatal traffic crashes on City streets by 2030.  Vision Zero is a component of Go Boston 2030, the City of Boston’s strategic long term transportation plan.  In accordance with Go Boston 2030, the City is working to provide safe and efficient access on Boston’s streets for all users, whether people choose to walk, ride bikes, drive motor vehicles or use public transportation. 

“I urge people crossing at these three busy locations to press the button and wait for the signs to begin flashing before stepping off the curb,” said City of Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina N. Fiandaca.  “Rectangular rapid flash beacons enhance safety for people walking by warning drivers that a pedestrian will be entering the roadway.  The flashing signs make the pedestrian more visible, especially at night.  They also alert drivers that they must yield and allow the person walking to safely cross the street.”

The key benefits of rectangular rapid flash beacons are that they increase driver awareness of potential pedestrian conflict and they increase the incidence of drivers who yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks.  The Boston Transportation Department cautions local motorists to come to a complete stop when approaching a rapid flash beacon that has been activated.  Drivers are also reminded that the default speed limit in the City of Boston is 25 mph unless otherwise posted.

About Go Boston 2030:

Go Boston 2030 is the City of Boston’s long term mobility plan.  Go Boston 2030 envisions a city in a region where all residents have better and more equitable travel choices, where efficient transportation networks foster economic opportunity, and where steps have been taken to prepare for climate change.  Whether traveling by transit, on foot, on a bike, or by car, people will be able to access all parts of Boston safely and reliably.  A list of projects and policies have been developed that are being implemented as early action projects in the near term, and a set of long-term projects and policies are intended to be implemented over the next 15 years.  More information may be found at: