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Hudson installing safety beacons at crosswalks

Jan 25, 2021 3:00 pm

Aliya Schneider is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Hudson Department of Public Works is currently installing eight solar-powered crosswalk lights, funded by a $100,000 state grant along with $15,000 in city funds. The lights are called Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons, or RRFBs. Assemblymember Didi Barrett announced the $100,000 Department of Transportation award in February of 2020. The city contributed $15,000 and the devices were purchased in August, Treasurer Heather Campbell said. The project was spear-headed by 5th Ward Alderman Dominic Merante. The beacons are meant to instruct vehicles to yield as they approach crosswalks at locations with no stop lights. When a button is pressed by a pedestrian, lights blink for 20 seconds to gain drivers' attention. The lights can be customized to remain on for varying amounts of time, Merante, said. Three of the eight pairs of lights have been installed — one located on Union Street by the post office, another in front of the elementary school at Harry Howard Avenue and Paddock Place, and the third at 325 Columbia St., Merante said. Each location has a unit on both sides of the crosswalk. A 2010 U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration study found the installation of yellow rectangular rapid-flashing beacons leads to more cars yielding at crosswalks. Beacon sets are also planned to go up by the high school, at 802 Columbia St., at 717 Warren St. and Seventh Street Park and another on the other side of the park before the railroad tracks on Columbia Street, Merante said. Read the full story at HudsonValley 360 [dot] com.