Yielding Rates and RRFBs
In recent studies, yielding rates were computed for both near-side and far-side crossings. Yielding was over 90% at all but one of the 23 near-side and one of the 23 far-side crossins locations. A total of seven locations exhibiting 100% yielding rates both on the near-side and far-side. The observed yielding rates in Oregon continue to reflect some of the highest reported in the literature. The high yielding rates observed provide additional evidence that the RRFB is a useful tool alerting drivers to the presence of pedestrians at crosswalks.
The high yielding rates, however, make answering the primary research question of the effect or need for the median-mounted beacons challenging: the data generally show that the presence of a median refuge island alone increases yielding. The data and analysis also generally indicate that the yielding rates increase with the addition of the median beacons. However, the difference is not a large increase (<5%) and was not statistically significant. Site-specific characteristics are also important as the lowest observed near-side yielding rate was at a site with RRFBs placed in the median refuge,
There are other reasons, primarily for pedestrian comfort and safety, to add a median refuge that should be considered. Median islands reduce pedestrian exposure while crossing and have been proven to reduce pedestrian crashes. They also reduce the complexity of crossing (by dividing the crossing into two-stages), provide space to install roadway lighting which also reduces pedestrian crashes, and can lower the delay incurred by pedestrians waiting for a gap in the traffic to cross which leads to fewer pedestrians engaging in risky behaviours.