The Town of Vienna finished installing the Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) at two crosswalks on Beulah Road recently just before school begins. Located at MacArthur Ave. NE and Ayr Hill Ave. NE, these solar-powered flashing signals will give pedestrians a new level of safety when crossing Beulah Road.
NEVCA initiated improving these crosswalks in 2015 when volunteers went door to door asking nearby homeowners to sign a petition requesting the Transportation Safety Commission improve pedestrian safety along Beulah Road. About ten residents voiced supports at the TSC meeting when the petition was presented.
After considerable debate including one TSC member questioning why people needed to cross the street at those locations, the TSC agreed to have an engineering firm put together some hard data. The study was conducted in October 2015 and showed over 12,000 daily trips on Beulah Road and interesting speed data.
Click to read the entire Beulah Road Traffic Study.
The crosswalks were striped in 2016 by the Department of Public Works. These new crosswalks allowed a new level of pedestrian safety, and were marked by crosswalk bollards along the center line to increase visibility.
The bollards were knocked down every time they were installed.
NEVCA does give credit to the Vienna Town Council for asking DPW to look into alternatives for the ineffective bollards. And the DPW recommended adding the RRFBs at Ayr Hill, MacArthur and Creek Crossing.
A half-dozen members of NEVCA attended the Vienna Town Council budget work session in March 2017 to show support for installing RRFBs. In April, NEVCA president Bob McCahill received an email from the Town that funding for RRFBs was eligible under a 2016 Capital Improvement Bond, and that DPW was going to order the necessary equipment for installation.
Pedestrian safety in Vienna is extremely important as sidewalks are completed and residents spend more time outside in our walk-able community. Vienna residents do need to be proactive when they see dangerous crosswalks or streets in need of established traffic calming measures. NEVCA efforts involved many people and persistent efforts over two years.
The results are significant pedestrian safety upgrades that benefit all residents of Vienna.