Mayor Announces Four Rapid Flash Beacons to be Installed on Foster

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.

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7 Responses to Mayor Announces Four Rapid Flash Beacons to be Installed on Foster

  1. Spiffy says:

    They’re still not sending the right message to drivers. Instead of telling them to watch out for pedestrians they’re telling them to watch for flashing signs. That’s one major reason we’re here, drivers are paying attention to the zillion signs and other cars and not anything else.

  2. Brett says:

    I know that the $60-70K figure was mentioned in the SAC meeting last week, but I believe that I heard on the news (KGW last night?) that the cost for each rapid flash beacon is $25K… Also, I found this: http://www.portlandonline.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=290076 , which mentions the $25K price tag (for equipment only) for the RFB installed at Foster and 80th a couple year back. I also don’t believe it was clear at the SAC that the funds for these would come out of the money set aside for the Foster Streetscape construction set for 2014. The city is effectively making funding decisions outside of the Foster Streetscape Refresh process.
    The timing seems a little strange… maybe the Mayor wanted to get these changes rolling before leaving office? And although I do think RFBs are effective and needed at a couple intersections along Foster (especially at 65th) 5 of these along Foster may be too much and may serve to reduce safety at non RFB-d crossings. Does anyone know if there a final list of intersections where these will be installed? Which will be installed 1st?

    • Brett,

      Thanks for pointing out that the SAC didn’t officially endorse allocating money for these projects. While folks were amenable to the idea, it was posed as “food for thought” and people were supposed to rank intersections (with already existing islands) where they might be most needed.

      As for the money, let’s hope they come in closer to the $25k figure. With such a limited budget, any cost saved will be important.

  3. Danae says:

    Definitely not the most elegant or aesthetically pleasing option, but it sounds like it will get the much needed safety improvement done quickly and fairly cheaply. I agree with Spiffy about educating drivers to be more pedestrian aware, but even at my grandma-driving-pace I find it difficult to see people along Foster Road at night. So I say – YAY! to the flashers, and thank you Mayor Adams.

  4. kurtwsommer@gmail.com says:

    Is there anyway the islands for the RBF’s can be modeled like Woodstocks crossing at 45th? It has small trees, shrubs, and plants that really soften the look. It wouldn’t take much and would make all four crossing look a whole lot nicer.

  5. Jess says:

    I like Kurtwsommer’s suggestion a lot. My practical side wants more safety asap- but I really do care about aesthetics. Also, I am not seeing any mention of a lower speed limit, is that still being discussed?

    Completely unrelated- we saw a COYOTE tonight. A young, terrified coyote, darting about the lawns and streets. He was around 50th and Holgate. I had no idea what to do.

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