Towards a Safer Ride: The Role of RRFB Crosswalks in Bikeway Designs

In recent years, municipalities across the globe have been increasingly focused on enhancing urban mobility, aiming to make cities more accessible, sustainable, and safe for all residents. A significant part of this initiative is the development and expansion of bikeways, which serve as dedicated pathways for cyclists, simultaneously improving pedestrian accessibility. This movement towards a more bike-friendly infrastructure is not just about promoting a healthier lifestyle or reducing carbon emissions; it’s about rethinking urban spaces to prioritize safety and accessibility for non-motorized road users. Among the innovative solutions being adopted, Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) at uncontrolled marked crosswalks stand out for their effectiveness in enhancing safety for both cyclists and pedestrians.

The Rise of Bikeways in Urban Planning

Municipalities are integrating bikeways into their urban planning strategies to create a network of safe and convenient routes for cyclists. These paths are designed to connect residential areas with key destinations such as workplaces, schools, shopping centers, and parks, ensuring that cycling is a viable and attractive mode of transportation. By doing so, cities are not only encouraging residents to opt for cycling over driving but are also taking significant steps towards reducing traffic congestion and pollution.

Bikeways come in various forms, including dedicated bike lanes on streets, shared paths that accommodate both cyclists and pedestrians, and completely segregated cycle tracks. The choice of bikeway type depends on several factors, including the volume of traffic, the speed of vehicles, and the available space. Regardless of the type, the underlying goal remains the same: to provide cyclists with a safe and efficient way to navigate the city.

Enhancing Safety with Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons

One of the critical challenges in promoting cycling and walking in urban areas is ensuring the safety of these vulnerable road users, especially at uncontrolled marked crosswalks. These are crossings where pedestrians and cyclists have the legal right to cross but there are no traffic signals to stop vehicles. To address this issue, many municipalities are turning to Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs).

RRFBs are user-activated warning devices that alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians or cyclists at crosswalks. When activated, they emit rapid, high-intensity flashing lights, significantly increasing visibility and drawing drivers’ attention to the crosswalk. Studies have shown that RRFBs can dramatically improve driver yield rates, thereby reducing the risk of accidents and enhancing the overall safety of non-motorized road users.

Because RRFBs are activated by pedestrians and cyclists, the high intensity lights flash only in use when needed, reducing unnecessary distractions for drivers and ensuring that the focus is on the crosswalk when it matters most. This makes RRFBs suitable for uncontrolled crosswalks that have a wide range of pedestrian volumes.

Diagram found in Chapter 4L of the MUTCD 11th Edition

Implementation and Impact

The implementation of bikeways and RRFBs requires careful planning and collaboration between municipalities, traffic engineers, and urban planners. It involves a comprehensive approach that includes evaluating existing roadways, identifying key routes for bikeway development, and assessing the most suitable locations for RRFB installations. Public input is also crucial in this process, as it ensures that the needs and concerns of the community are taken into account.

The impact of these initiatives on urban mobility and safety is significant. Cities that have invested in bikeways and RRFBs report higher rates of cycling and walking, reduced traffic congestion, and fewer accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists. Moreover, these measures contribute to a more vibrant and livable urban environment, encouraging residents to explore their cities on foot or by bike.


The growing use of bikeways by municipalities, complemented by the strategic deployment of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons at uncontrolled marked crosswalks, represents a forward-thinking approach to urban design. By prioritizing the safety and accessibility of cyclists and pedestrians, cities are not only addressing immediate transportation challenges but are also laying the groundwork for a more sustainable and inclusive future. As more municipalities embrace these innovations, the vision of cities where walking and cycling are the chosen modes of transportation becomes increasingly attainable, marking a significant step towards transforming urban environments for the better.

Get Started Now!

Exploring the Impact of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons in Rural and Small Communities

In a world increasingly concerned with road safety, Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) have gained attention as a pivotal technology designed to protect pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users in uncontrolled marked crosswalks. Much of the existing research on RRFBs has been limited to urban environments, leaving a noticeable gap in our understanding of their effectiveness in rural and smaller communities. 

A recent comprehensive study by the University of Vermont in association with the Vermont Agency of Transportation, “Effectiveness of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) in Small and Rural Communities,” addresses this gap. The study not only affirms the effectiveness of RRFBs in rural settings but also provides key insights for best installation practices. These findings are integral to Availed Technologies’ approach to the design and manufacturing of RRFBs, further reinforcing why Availed is an industry leader.

A Deep Dive into the Study’s Findings

The University of Vermont’s research employed a rigorous methodological approach that included a controlled before-and-after study design and in-depth video analysis. The outcomes were promising: RRFBs led to an improvement in driver compliance and overall road safety in rural Vermont. There were noticeable improvements in driver yielding behavior and reductions in pedestrians crossing outside of designated crosswalks. Pedestrian wait times at crossings also decreased.

Additionally, the study points out that installations in Montpelier, which used different LED lights and are not considered RRFBs, showed less effectiveness compared to other locations. This only strengthens the case for RRFBs as an optimal choice for pedestrian safety solutions.

Furthermore, the study discovered that the effectiveness of RRFBs was consistent, not just in central locations but also in transitional zones between rural and urban areas. This all-encompassing effectiveness is crucial because it shows that RRFBs are not just a ‘one-size-fits-all’ urban solution but a versatile tool for smaller communities and lower pedestrian volume locations.

Design Features and Considerations

This study on RRFBs underscored the importance of thoughtful design features to enhance their effectiveness, especially in adherence to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. Features like tactile arrows and audio cues can help visually impaired individuals navigate crossings safely. Additionally, the study highlighted the need for flexible power options like solar, which is particularly useful in rural areas where electrical grid access may be limited.

The angle and intensity of the flashing lights were also identified as critical design factors. Lights need to be bright enough to attract drivers’ attention from a distance, but not so intense as to impair vision. This balance is especially crucial in varying weather conditions often encountered in rural settings. Moreover, RRFBs should be durable enough to withstand the gamut of environmental conditions, ensuring that maintenance needs are minimized.

Availed Technologies’ focus on advanced design features—including ADA-compliant push buttons, high capacity solar-powered systems, and robust field adjustable RRFB lightbars —makes us an industry leader. These features enable the RRFBs to function optimally in all conditions, ensuring the highest level of road safety for rural communities.

Factors Influencing RRFB Effectiveness

While the study provided an overwhelmingly positive outlook on the role of RRFBs in rural safety, it also illuminated how different factors could affect their effectiveness. These factors include the time of day, the day of the week, and even the type of road users, such as cyclists and runners. Such granular data is invaluable for planners and policymakers who aim to deploy RRFBs most effectively, further underscoring the vital role played by high-quality RRFBs like those manufactured by Availed Technologies.

This is critical because these factors are directly linked to road safety. In particular, the study found that the installation of RRFBs led to improvements in driver compliance ranging from 12% to 43%, showcasing the tangible benefits of these devices. Pedestrian wait times also improved, with reductions ranging from 0.8 to 2.6 seconds at two of the RRFB locations studied.

The Global Relevance of RRFBs

Although the study is rooted in the specific context of Vermont, its findings have broader implications. Rural and small communities across the nation and indeed, around the world, share similar characteristics. The issue of road safety is universal, and the research strongly indicates that RRFBs, when implemented correctly, can be an effective solution for a range of settings.

Making Roads Safer with Availed Technologies’ RRFBs

As the study results indicate, not all RRFBs are created equal. Availed Technologies distinguishes itself by offering RRFBs that not only meet but exceed compliance and safety standards. With our products, communities—be they large or small, urban or rural—can achieve remarkable improvements in pedestrian safety and driver compliance.

Availed’s RRFBs are not just built to meet the basic standards; they exceed them. Our attention to detail ensures maximum visibility and durability, two key factors that are even more crucial in rural settings where regular maintenance may be less frequent. In addition, Availed’s RRFBs are adaptable and can be installed in a variety of roadway conditions, a feature highlighted as beneficial in the study.

As we strive for safer roads for all, there’s no better partner than Availed Technologies to provide RRFB solutions. Grounded in scientific research and committed to quality and safety, Availed’s RRFBs are the best pedestrian safety solution for communities large and small. Your community deserves the best, and the best is Availed Technologies’ AV-400 RRFB.


Contact Us to Learn More!

Altitude Signal: Availed Technologies’ Trusted Distributor Partner

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Altitude Signal LLC, a distributor of advanced traffic signal and ITS products and trusted Availed Technologies partner, to discuss the rapidly growing RRFB industry.

Altitude Signal has been at the forefront of helping public agencies deploy next-generation intelligent transportation systems across the Mountain West region. Their focus on partnering with companies driving industry advancements allows them to deliver cutting-edge ITS solutions to signal shops and engineering departments.

In this Q&A, we’ll delve into Altitude Signal’s insights on the recent advancements in RRFB technology, and their experiences with the AV-400 RRFB.


Q: Can you tell us about Altitude Signal and how it has established itself as a trusted partner in the traffic control industry?

A: Altitude Signal is a local distributor of ITS products based out of offices in Nevada and Colorado. Altitude was founded in 2018 by Alec Meyerhoff, a second-generation traffic signal specialist who had grown up around the industry his whole childhood. After the company’s founding, Alec hired some of the most trusted professionals in our industry and together our team has grown Altitude into one of the top ITS distributors in the western US.

Providing excellent product support was one of Altitude Signal’s founding principles. We regularly provide onsite installation assistance when our products are being deployed and we stand behind products through the life of the systems. In addition to having a signal technician dedicated to field service calls, every one of Altitude’s sales professionals is IMSA Level 2 Field-certified and are not afraid of getting their hands dirty. Our customers have found the level of support our team provides to be unparalleled, which has made us a trusted partner for public agencies around our region.

Dedicated to a great customer experience, we stay local to our favorite place: the Mountain West. From the Sierras to the Rockies, we live, work, and play in the mountains, keeping our operations specialized to Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.

Q: Can you tell us about the products that Altitude Signal represents?

A:  A large part of Altitude’s recent success continues to be because of our partnerships with some of the best product manufacturers in the industry. By partnering with companies that continue to increase functionality, simplicity, and reliability, our organization has been able to grow substantially in recent years.

Along with Availed Technologies, Altitude also partners with leading brands such as GRIDSMART detection systems; Trafficware cabinets controllers and software systems; and EtherWAN networking equipment.

Q: How has the RRFB industry changed in recent years?

A: Dramatic improvements in solar efficiency have lowered costs for solar systems making solar the de-facto standard for pedestrian warning systems.

Altitude Signal is proud to represent Availed Technologies as they recognized these changes early on and specialized in providing a simple solar-powered RRFB system which is the most energy-efficient and easiest-to-install on the market.

Q: Where do you see the industry going in the coming years?

A: The effectiveness and relative low cost of solar RRFB systems have allowed agencies to improve upon their vision-zero goals. By seeing the success of cities going “all-in” on RRFBs, we expect federal, state and local funding of ped safety to continue increasing.

Additionally, we see public demand continuing to increase – as more RRFBs are installed, walkers, runners, and cyclists have come to expect warning systems at midblock crossings and increasingly at roundabouts. We believe that expectations of non-motorized road users will continue to encourage public officials to increase RRFB deployments.

This mass deployment of RRFBs has been very beneficial to industry as well as to the public as roadways become more pedestrian-friendly. We expect this to continue, if not escalate further in the coming years.

Q: What changes are you seeing in the use of RRFBs?

A: The mass adoption of solar-powered RRFB systems has been remarkable and the demand curve seems to still be increasing. The City of Westminster, Colorado recently ordered 20+ Availed RRFB systems and are currently in the middle of installation. Many agencies and contractors in the Denver metro have been impressed with the Availed RRFB-400’s power efficiency and ease of installation and our growth has been remarkable.

Our whole team at Altitude is very proud to have Availed Technologies as a partner and look forward to continued use of their product in all our states.


To sum up, Altitude Signal is a strategic ally and knowledgeable distributor partner for Availed Technologies. Their unwavering commitment to customer service and expert field support makes them an indispensable asset for traffic agencies in the Mountain West region.

As the prevalence of RRFBs continues to grow in the industry, Altitude Signal, backed by Availed’s cutting-edge tools and expertise, is exceptionally well-prepared to cater to the rising demand for pedestrian safety solutions.

Contact Us to Learn More


Availed AV-400 RRFB Now Approved for Use in Georgia Transportation Projects

We are thrilled to announce that the Availed AV-400 Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon has been listed as a qualified product on the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) Qualified Products List (QPL 48) for Traffic Signal & ITS Equipment. This is a major achievement, and we are excited to share this news with our customers and partners.


What is a QPL and Why is it Important?

QPL stands for Qualified Products List. It is a list of products that have been evaluated and approved by a particular agency or organization for use in a specific project or application. 


The purpose of the QPL is to ensure that only high-quality products that meet certain performance and safety standards are used for a particular project, and to streamline the procurement process by pre-qualifying products that meet the required specifications. 


In the context of transportation projects, QPLs are commonly used by government agencies to identify and pre-approve products that can be used for road construction, maintenance, and other related projects. This is particularly important for electronic  traffic signal and ITS equipment projects, where safety and reliability are critical factors.


Overview of the Georgia DOT Product Approval System

The Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) has established a comprehensive approval system to ensure that products used in transportation projects meet the required performance and safety standards. This system includes the Qualified Products List (QPL), which is a list of products that have been evaluated and approved for use in transportation projects in the state of Georgia.


To be included on the Georgia DOT QPL, products must go through a rigorous evaluation process that includes testing, review, and approval by the Georgia DOT’s Office of Materials and Research. The evaluation process is designed to ensure that the products meet the required specifications and standards for use in transportation projects, including safety, durability, and performance.


Once a product is approved and included on the Georgia DOT QPL, it is considered pre-approved for use in transportation projects in the state of Georgia. This means that contractors do not need to go through a separate approval process for each project, saving time and effort. The QPL serves as a reference guide for Georgia DOT staff and contractors when selecting products for transportation projects.


The Georgia DOT approval system is a crucial component of ensuring the quality and safety of transportation projects in the state. By pre-approving products through the QPL, the Georgia DOT can ensure that only the best and most effective products are used in its projects. This helps to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of transportation projects, while also enhancing safety for motorists, pedestrians, and other road users.


Temple Inc., Our Trusted Distributor Partner in Georgia

We’re proud to partner with Temple Inc., a leading distributor of traffic safety products in Georgia, to bring the Availed AV-400 RRFB to transportation projects in the state. 


With over 60 years of experience, Temple Inc. has built a reputation for delivering high-quality products and exceptional customer service to transportation agencies, municipalities, and contractors throughout Georgia. Their team of knowledgeable professionals provides expert guidance and support to help customers find the right products to meet their needs. 


Benefits of Using the Availed AV-400 RRFB

The Availed AV-400 RRFB is an innovative product that enhances pedestrian safety at uncontrolled marked crosswalks. Rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFB) provide a high-intensity flashing light to alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians at the crosswalk. 


RRFBs have been proven to increase motorist yielding rates up to:

98% and to reduce pedestrian crashes by up to 47%. The AV-400 is also durable, easy to install, and requires minimal maintenance, making it a cost-effective solution for crosswalk improvement projects.


The Availed Technologies Difference

At Availed, we are committed to providing our customers with high-quality, innovative products that enhance safety and improve transportation infrastructure. The inclusion of the Availed AV-400 on the Georgia DOT QPL is a testament to the quality and reliability of our product, and we are proud to offer it to our customers. 


We look forward to continuing to work with our partners in the transportation industry to enhance safety and improve transportation infrastructure across the state of Georgia.


Contact us to learn more

Exploring the Latest Update on MUTCD: Proposed Inclusion of RRFBs in Chapter 4L

Update: As of November 19, 2023, the 11th Edition of the MUTCD has been issued with the inclusion of RRFBs in Chapter 4L. Read more about it here.


In the world of transportation and road safety, staying updated with the latest regulations is crucial. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) serves as a comprehensive guide for transportation professionals, providing standards and guidelines for traffic control devices in the United States. In this blog post, we will delve into the pending update to the MUTCD, specifically focusing on the proposed inclusion of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) in Chapter 4L, which covers flashing beacons.


Background on the MUTCD Update

On May 15th, a status update on the 11th Edition of the MUTCD was released, generating a buzz among transportation experts and practitioners. While this update may not introduce any groundbreaking changes, it is important to note that its release was in line with the promised date for the next MUTCD publication. Let’s explore the proposed addition of RRFBs to Chapter 4L in more detail.


Understanding RRFBs and Their Significance

Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) are a pedestrian activated warning system that are designed exclusively for the use at uncontrolled marked crosswalks.. These beacons have been proven to reduce crashes for pedestrians by up to 47% and increase motorist yielding rates up to 98%. The proposed inclusion of RRFBs in Chapter 4L of the MUTCD acknowledges their effectiveness and highlights their importance in improving pedestrian safety.


Key Considerations for Including RRFBs in Chapter 4L

The decision to incorporate RRFBs in Chapter 4L demonstrates how successful the device has been for the past five years under Interim Approval IA-21. By integrating RRFBs into the existing framework for flashing beacons, transportation professionals will have clearer guidelines and standards for their deployment.


Benefits of the Proposed Inclusion


  1. Enhanced Pedestrian Safety: RRFBs have proven to be highly effective in increasing driver awareness and improving pedestrian safety. By including RRFBs in Chapter 4L, the MUTCD aims to promote consistent and standardized deployment of these beacons, ultimately reducing pedestrian crashes and fatalities.


  1. Streamlined Installation and Maintenance: The proposed inclusion of RRFBs in Chapter 4L will provide transportation agencies with a structured framework for the design, procurement, and installation of these devices. This clarity will facilitate the efficient implementation of RRFBs across different jurisdictions.


  1. Improved Driver Compliance: The conspicuous nature of RRFBs can significantly influence driver behavior and encourage compliance with pedestrian right-of-way laws. By integrating RRFBs into Chapter 4L, the MUTCD aims to further establish Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons as a key tool for improving safety and accessibility at crosswalks..


Choosing Availed For Your RRFB Needs

The proposed inclusion of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) in Chapter 4L of the MUTCD signifies the importance of what has become a standard device for many traffic agencies. As a leading provider that is focused on the design and production of RRFBs, Availed Technologies is dedicated to helping transportation agencies and professionals design and implement this device


Partnering with Availed Technologies means gaining access to high-quality RRFB systems that are fully compliant with the Interim Approval IA-21 and with the proposed guidelines outlined in the MUTCD. Take the first step towards enhancing pedestrian safety by contacting us today. Together, let’s create safer roadways with Availed Technologies’ AV-400 RRFB.


Contact us to learn more!

Texas Highway Products: Availed Technologies’ Trusted Distributor Partner

We sat down to talk to Texas Highway Products (THP), a trusted distributor partner of Availed Technologies, about the rapidly growing RRFB industry.

For 25 years, THP has provided traffic control products to municipal, county, and state agencies throughout Texas. As a long-time supporter and exhibitor at TexITE and IMSA Southwestern Section events, THP has the knowledge and expertise to support traffic departments throughout Texas.

In this Q&A, we’ll delve into THP’s insights on the recent advancements in RRFB technology, and their experiences with the AV-400 RRFB.

Q: Can you tell us about Texas Highway Products and how it has established itself as a trusted partner in the traffic control industry?

A: Texas Highway Products (THP) has been serving the municipal, county, and state traffic agencies throughout Texas for the past 25 years. We have earned our reputation as a top distributor by providing a high level of customer service and field support, and through our long-time support and participation in TexITE and IMSA Southwestern Section events.

THP has the knowledge and expertise to support traffic departments in Texas, whether it’s a small town or the TXDOT.

Q: Can you tell us about the products that Texas Highway Products represents?

A: In addition to Availed Technologies, Texas Highway Products represents other quality traffic products such as Q-Free, Clary, Encom, EDI, and Pelco. Availed’s products are available through Texas Highway Products and the Local Government Purchasing Cooperative Texas BuyBoard.

Q: How has the RRFB industry changed in recent years?

A: The RRFB industry has seen a rise in the use of standardized signposts for RRFBs, which has dramatically reduced the installation cost, time, and complexity. This has been made possible by improvements in power efficiency, allowing leading products like the AV-400 to be small and compact enough to mount on signposts.

Q: Where do you see the industry going in the coming years?

A: The RRFBs are still under interim approval with the Federal Highway Administration and will be included in the next edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) by May 15, 2023.

We expect the usage of RRFBs to increase even more once they are included in the revised MUTCD. You can find more information on it on the MUTCD site.

Q: What changes are you seeing in the use of RRFBs?

A: The use of RRFBs is on the rise, as cities throughout Texas are making improvements to be increasingly more pedestrian-friendly. For example, Fort Worth recently ordered the Availed RRFB and the city is taking great pride in the steps being taken to give their residents safer transportation options.

The City of Cedar Hill is another example of an agency that has been using RRFBs for improving pedestrian crosswalks. Cedar Hill plans to become one of the most walkable cities in Texas, and RRFBs will play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of pedestrians and cyclists on its roads. There are many other municipalities in both the Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio areas that are utilizing Availed RRFBs as part of their pedestrian improvements.

In summary, Texas Highway Products is a valued and knowledgeable distributor partner for Availed Technologies. With a focus on customer service and field support, THP services are an indispensable asset for traffic agencies in Texas.

With the increasing prevalence of RRFBs in the industry, and the backing of Availed’s tools and experts, THP is well-equipped to meet the growing demand for pedestrian safety solutions.


Contact Us to Learn More

Highlighter yellow Availed RRFB school crossing sign with arrow, with a tree and blue sky in background.

Availed Technologies Has Been Approved by Oregon DOT

We are happy to announce that the Availed AV-400 Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon is now listed as a qualified product on the Oregon DOT Green Sheets.

What is the Green Sheet Qualification Process?

Maintained by the Traffic-Roadway Section of the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Green Sheet Qualification process has a comprehensive evaluation process for a wide range of Traffic Signal, Illumination, and ITS equipment that includes physical, operational, and environmental testing.  For RRFBs in particular, the device is evaluated to ensure it is compliant with the requirements of the FHWA interim approval and the MUTCD and that it meets the requirements for mounting as shown in TM493.  Only prequalified RRFBs already listed on the green sheets will be approved for use for Oregon DOT projects under contract

The Importance of Energy Efficiency for RRFBs

As is very typical in the Pacific Northwest, many parts of Oregon have very low solar insolation during the winter months which presents a challenging environment for solar products such as the Availed AV-400 RRFB.  Key to ensuring reliable operation is energy efficiency, and this is where the AV-400 stands out.  All aspects of the product, from the wireless connectivity between units to the optical design of the LED lightbars has been designed to minimize power consumption.


For more about energy efficiency with RRFBs and how to specify products to ensure reliable operation see this article.


Availed Technologies – Now on the BC Recognized Products List

Here at Availed Technologies, we’re proud to announce that our AV-400 RRFB has been approved by the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOT) and is officially on their Recognized Products list.

Today’s blog outlines all you need to know:

What is the BC Recognized Products List?

The BC Recognized Products List is a comprehensive database of products that are approved for use for highway construction and maintenance contractors

Products on this list are frequently used in performing work as part of contracts with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure regarding the construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance of highways and bridges.

Approved products may be removed or suspended at any time if they do not perform or are found to be noncompliant or failing to meet ministry requirements.

The Importance of the BC Recognized Products List

The Recognized Products List is referenced during the following:

  • The road and bridge maintenance contract agreement
  • Project tender documents
  • Invitations to quote

It serves the important role of standardizing quality across different products and ensuring that approved manufacturers adhere to strict safety guidelines.

Approved Availed Technologies Products on the Recognized Products List

As an approved manufacturer, the following Availed Technologies products now hold a spot on British Columbia’s Recognized Products List:

  • The AV-240 Series, 24-Hour Flashing Beacon: A reliable, fast-installation flashing beacon with MUTCD-compliant flash patterns
  • The AV-400 Series, Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon: A purpose-built RRFB with a compact solar engine design, wireless operation, and a high-intensity light output that exceeds MUTCD requirements by up to five times

MassDOT RRFB Approval Announcement

At Availed Technologies, we’re thrilled to announce that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (Highway Division, Qualified Traffic Control) has experimentally approved our AV-400 Solar RRFB.

Learn more about the importance of this approval today:

The Impact of the AV-400 Solar RRFB

RRFBs play a crucial role in pedestrian crash countermeasures, and our AV-400 Solar RRFB is no exception.

Purpose-built from the bottom-up, the AV-400 series features both high-efficiency LED modules and an ultra-low power controller that remains dependable year after year.

It also touts:

  • A rated operating capacity exceeding 300 activations per day
  • High-intensity light output that exceeds the MUTCD requirements by up to five times
  • A sophisticated, compact solar engine design that is install-ready for all pole mount systems, making the installation process under 15 minutes
  • Zero configuration required for near-wireless connection between systems; one wire runs from the push button to the solar engine
  • Easily bolted or banded to any pole size thanks to its three-point pivoting lightbar mounting bracket and universal solar engine mount

Whether you are a Traffic Engineer responsible for designing and specifying an upcoming project, a Town Engineer seeking lower-cost, higher-powered alternatives to your municipality’s existing RRFBs, or a Traffic Technologist who knows that your city’s pedestrian countermeasures need an upgrade, consider the AV-400 Solar RRFB today.

The Benefits of Working With Availed Technologies

As established in the FHWA Countermeasure Tech Sheet, the average cost of one RRFB system is $22,250 USD– ranging from $4,500 USD to $52,000 USD each.

However, Availed Technologies makes it so you can install three-to-five RRFB systems for the same average cost of one. It’s all thanks to our RRFBs’ higher efficiency, smaller form factor, and minimized size.

That means each RRFB in our AV-400 series:

  • Offers lower material costs
  • Is easy to handle and fast to install
  • Can be pre-installed prior to being on-site and/or mounted onto existing sign posts

We are so proud that our AV-400 Solar RRFB is now included on  MassDOT Qualified Traffic Control Equipment List, under the Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons, Section 824: Flashing Beacons, Illuminated Warning Signs, and Lighted Barrier Arrows .

Guidelines and Warrant Processes for Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons

If you are looking for in-depth info on the guidelines and warrant process for Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons, then you’re in the right place.

Here at Availed Technologies, we pride ourselves on being specialists with Solar RRFBs. In today’s article, we explore the guidelines, warrant system, and design process for when and where to use RRFBs at uncontrolled marked crosswalks. Both FHWA and TAC have developed design criteria tools to assist traffic professionals in determining which treatment or treatments should be used for a given crosswalk.

Let’s dive in:

The FHWA Field Guide for Selecting Countermeasures at Uncontrolled Pedestrian Crossing Locations

Let’s look first at the FHWA Field Guide for Selecting Countermeasures at Uncontrolled Pedestrian Crossing Locations.

The first step in the guide is to collect an inventory of the roadway conditions, namely the speed limit, total vehicles per day, travel lane configuration, and approximate total pedestrians per hour (PPH) crossing the roadway.  Other pedestrian safety issues are to be recorded such as noted pedestrian conflicts, excessive vehicle speed, inadequate conspicuity and visibility, drivers not yielding, and insufficient separation between pedestrians and traffic.

The roadway conditions inventory is then used with Table 1 to determine which of the following Pedestrian Crash Countermeasures should be considered for the location.  The Table has rows for the Roadway Configuration (number of lanes, median islands) and columns for the posted speed limit and AADT (Annual Average Daily Traffic).

Pedestrian Crash Countermeasures

A subset of these guidelines involves pedestrian crash countermeasures. These are listed as:

  • High-visibility crosswalk markings, parking restrictions on crosswalk approach, adequate nighttime lighting levels, and crossing warning signs
  • Raised crosswalk
  • Advance Yield Here To (Stop Here For) Pedestrians sign and yield (stop) line
  • In-Street Pedestrian Crossing sign
  • Curb extension
  • Pedestrian refuge island
  • Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacon (RRFB, which hold particular importance due to their effectiveness)
  • Road Diet
  • Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon (PHB)

Now that we’ve covered them, let’s turn our overview over to the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) Pedestrian Crossing Control Guide.

TAC Pedestrian Crossing Control Guide

Similar to the FHWA Pedestrian Crash Countermeasures, the TAC Pedestrian Crossing Control Guide includes a Treatment Selection Matrix where vehicle volume, speed limit, and total number of lanes are the primary variables used to determine which of the following crossing treatment options should be considered.

These crosswalk treatment options encompass the following tools:

  • Crosswalk with side mounted signs (GM)
  • Enhanced crosswalk with side-mounted signs (GM+) which includes advance yield lines, curb extensions, raised pedestrian refuge, and in-street signs
  • Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon
  • Overhead Flashing Beacon
  • Traffic Signal

In our opinion, the current third version of the TAC Pedestrian Crossing Control Guide from 2018 is somewhat outdated, in that RRFBs are now commonly used in overhead applications and should be considered instead of overhead flashing beacons. RRFBs have been demonstrated to be significantly more effective than traditional round flashing beacons.

The TAC Pedestrian Crossing Control Guide also includes a flow chart intended to be used as a preliminary decision support tool.  The tool includes Average Hourly Pedestrian Volume as a criteria, and includes a weighting system where pedestrian volume is converted to Equivalent Adult Units (EAU) to account for pedestrian age and physical ability or at-risk pedestrians.

Key Takeaways Regarding Guidelines and Warrant Processes for Uncontrolled Marked Crosswalks

According to the FHWA Countermeasure Tech Sheet, the average cost of an RRFB system is USD $22,250, with a range of $4,500 to $52,000 each.

Systems like the Availed AV-400 RRFB that are highly efficient have a much smaller form factor than previous technology, and the smaller size greatly reduces the installed cost in the following ways:

  • Has lower material costs compared to larger, less efficient systems
  • Is lightweight and easy to handle, thereby significantly reducing installation time
  • Can be easily pre-installed on the pole prior to being on site
  • Can be readily mounted onto existing sign posts. This is perhaps the greatest opportunity to minimize the installed cost, as the existing sign post footings can often be used which eliminates any expensive work involving the pole foundations. Regular sign posts are also significantly less costly than the larger poles that are necessary to support larger, less efficient solar RRFBs.

By utilizing existing sign posts, an agency can install three-to-five RRFB systems for the USD $22,250 average cost noted in the 2018 FHWA Tech Sheet.

Another factor that is implicit in the crosswalk treatment decision process is the concern with the overuse of crosswalk treatments.  The argument is that crosswalks and sign treatments should be used discriminately so that the effectiveness of these treatments is not deteriorated by overuse.  The concern for overuse of traffic signs is fundamental in the FHWA MUTCD, as noted in Section 2A.04 Excessive Use of Signs.

We here at Availed Technologies argue that the ‘Active’ nature of an RRFB makes the device largely immune to the risk of overuse.  An RRFB system that is not flashing will not contribute to any deterioration of effectiveness in the same way that prolific use of enhanced signs or pavement marking  will.  To this end, a requirement for a minimum number of pedestrians per hour arguably does not apply to RRFBs in the context of overuse.

Many agencies have developed their own decision process for prioritizing and selecting improvements for uncontrolled marked crosswalks. In many places, RRFBs have become a key tool that is used, owing to their high effectiveness, relatively low cost, and advantages of being an Active device that is not prone to overuse in the same way as passive treatments are.

Considering using RRFBs in an upcoming project?

Our expert team is here to answer all your questions. Contact us today.