New crosswalk technology aimed at protecting Cincinnati pedestrians

New crosswalk technology in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The City of Cincinnati’s Pedestrian and Bike program is aimed at protecting people who use crosswalks and sidewalks, city officials say.

Right now, they’re focusing on students as they head back to school this fall.

That technology involves RRFB’s — or Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons. They’re pedestrian triggered flashing lights.

As of Thursday morning, the city says they’re already working outside Western Hills High School and many “priority” locations across the city.

These crosswalk signs with flashing lights are supposed to increase pedestrian visibility at crosswalks that don't have traffic signals or stop signs.

“I think this is an amazing idea and i’m so happy to see that they’ll be out before school starts,” said Shawna Rodriguez.

Rodriguez says rapid flashing beacons could work and possibly save lives.

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She’s worked with city leaders to improve safety in areas like this after her daughter, a student at Western Hills High School, was hit and killed by a driver last fall. Police are still looking for that suspect.

“If I prevent one parent from getting that call that i got at 6:40 am on September 10th, 2018, i’ll do it all day long,” said Rodriguez.

One of the people Rodriguez works closely with is Derek Bauman.

“Pedestrian-related crashes are up 50% in the city of Cincinnati in the last 5 years.” said Bauman.

Bauman is the force behind Vision Zero, a data-driven strategy to eliminate all traffic-related deaths and injuries, while increasing pedestrian safety.

Cincinnati signed on with Vision Zero last winter after Gabby Rodriguez was killed and many local students were hurt in similar accidents.

Recently, the city says they’ve added several additional safety enhancements to protect both drivers and pedestrians.

If you know of an area that could use this technology, the city says they want to hear from you.

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