Austin Invests in Pedestrian Safety

The Austin City Council recently approved the execution of a pedestrian safety project worth $1.9 million in an effort to install safety devices all around Austin. As traffic congestion worsens in the city due to its rapid development, citizens have become more reliant on public transportation. With safety devices installed in key locations around Austin, the safety of these public commuters can further be safeguarded.

The grant from TxDOT is specifically intended for the installation of three kinds of safety devices: countdown timers, pedestrian signals, and pedestrian hybrid beacons.  At least 500 intersections will have new countdown timers that feature visual and audible countdown indicators for pedestrians. The timers, according to city documents, will help decrease the incidence of pedestrian crashes in the city by 25%.

Pedestrian signals are similar to countdown timers but provide audible signals on when and when not to talk. These are helpful for visually-impaired individuals. Pedestrian signals will be installed in at least 12 downtown locations.

Lastly, the pedestrian hybrid beacons are pedestrian-activated warning devices that "provide a stop-control in areas that do not have enough pedestrian traffic to warrant a traffic signal." Some of the major arterial roads where these beacons will be installed are South Congress Avenue, Manchaca Road, Oltorf Street, and Airport Boulevard, among others.

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