FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Flashing crosswalks are also known as in-pavement lights. Here are answers to some common questions about flashing crosswalks. If your question is not answered here, contact David Godfrey, P.E., Transportation Engineering Manager at (425) 587-3865.
Q: When did Kirkland first start using flashing crosswalks?
A: We partnered with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission in 1997 to install the first flashing crosswalk outside the state of California.
Q: Have you had accidents after flashing crosswalks were installed?
A: Accidents have not happened at locations where the lights were flashing when the pedestrian crossed.
Q: Are flashing crosswalks in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices?
A: Yes. See Chapter 4-L of the 2003 MUTCD.
Q: How many flashing crosswalks does Kirkland have?
A: Kirkland has approximately 30 installations. Some are at intersections but most are at mid-block locations. All are at uncontrolled crosswalks. An uncontrolled crosswalk is one where traffic does not have to stop unless a pedestrian is present (as opposed to a crosswalk at a traffic signal or stop sign).
Q: What brands are installed in Kirkland?
A: Our older locations are mostly LightGuard brand. Our newer locations are Flight Light. We also have an Econolite Smart Stud.
Q: Are they a maintenance problem?
A: Older style heads have required a lot of maintenance. Newer locations are better. Proper initial installation is important to long life.
Q: How much do they cost?
A: Cost depends on the number of heads that are needed the work required to get to a power supply. $25,000 is a rough estimate for an installed location.
Q: Do they work?
A: Most of the evidence gathered supports the idea that in-pavement lights are helpful. They do not automatically fix all the problems a potential location might have however.
Q: What about detection/activation techniques?
A: Kirkland uses push-button activation for a number of reasons including cost, reliability and ease of maintenance.
Q: Do you have other information?
A: Here are some resources:
This website gives more information about suppliers and is sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration http://www.walkinginfo.org/pedsmart/tlite.htm
The Institute of Transportation Engineers offers an Informational Report "In-Roadway Flashing Lights at Crosswalks", although it is quite general and a little out of date.
- A 2002 report on Kirkland's Flashing Crosswalk (NEED LINK) experiences that appeared in the Washington Section ITE Newsletter is available along with a Flashing Crosswalk report from 1999.
Back To Top