At Mayor Adams’ press conference during the Walk of Remembrance on Foster Road, it was announced that four rapid flash beacons will be installed between SE 50th and 82nd. One already exists at SE 80th, so the four additional crossing devices will most likely be installed at SE 58th, SE Cora, SE 65th, and another at SE 69th. At $70,000 per beacon, the cost will be taken from money set aside for construction of the Foster Streetscape Plan in 2014. Presumably, the estimated $280,000 for all four beacons would represent nearly 9% of what’s currently available for streetscape improvements. For perspective, installing one regular traffic light would cost about $250,000. In that sense, we’re getting more bang for our buck. Still, the plan was only briefly discussed at the most recent SAC meeting, and it is unknown how the beacons would fit in with future plans for the western stretch of Foster.
In the end, though, improvements are on the way — and much sooner than anyone anticipated. And as we’ve seen at SE 80th, the rapid flash beacons are pretty effective. This should go a long way in creating safer crossings for pedestrians in the short term.