The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced late Thursday, December 21, 2017 that it is withdrawing its interim approval of the installation and operation of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB). The concerns that led to this decision are not related to the functionality or safety of the device, but with the proprietary nature of component hardware.
With this new directive, FHWA has ordered that no new RRFBs be installed anywhere in the country. Those that are in place, “may remain in service until the end of useful life of those devices and need not be removed.” Questions are already being raised at agencies, such as the Florida Department of Transportation, about where regular maintenance fits in when determining the “useful life” of the RRFBs.
In July 2008, FHWA approved the use of these devices to improve pedestrian safety at mid-block crossings and unsignalized intersections. Now municipalities, counties, and state DOTs will begin evaluating alternative devices. Our staff leadership will continue to monitor this situation and keep our clients informed about how it affects their existing and future pedestrian projects.
You can view the official memorandum by clicking here.
This newsletter is published biannually by the New Jersey Local Technical Assistance Program, Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation, Rutgers University, using funds from the Federal Highway Administration and the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The opinions, findings, or recommendations expressed in this newsletter are those of the New Jersey Local Technical Assistance Program and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Highway Administration nor the New Jersey Department of Transportation nor Rutgers University. Any product mentioned in this newsletter is for information purposes only and should not be considered a product endorsement.