The City of Irvine is installing a new traffic control device to help make crossing busy streets easier for pedestrians. This new device is called a pedestrian hybrid beacon or PHB and provides pedestrians a safer crossing alternative that traditional crosswalks, especially in mid-block locations that are heavily traveled by pedestrians. And, because the devices are only activated when a pedestrian is present, drivers experience minimal delays.
How it works:
Once a pedestrian pushes the button, the beacon flashes yellow and then a steady yellow, indicating that drivers need to slow down and warning drivers of an upcoming red light. The steady red light requires drivers to stop. At this time, pedestrians will be given the “WALK” signal to cross the street. The steady red light then turns to alternating flashing red lights as a countdown timer is shown for pedestrians to finish crossing the road. At this stage, vehicles are required to stop but may proceed through the crossing if it is clear of pedestrians. Once the beacon is dark, traffic may proceed normally until the PHB is activated again.
Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons have been used in various agencies throughout the country to improve service for pedestrians. The City of Irvine has activated its first PHB on Alton Parkway adjacent to the Edwards Lifesciences Corporate Campus.