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New hybrid beacon helps pedestrians, bicyclists safely cross intersection in SLO

City of San Luis Obispo

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - The City of San Luis Obispo activated a new pedestrian-bicyclist hybrid beacon crossing at the intersection of Broad Street and Woodbridge Street on Friday. This is the third crossing of this type installed in the city.

A pedestrian hybrid beacon is a traffic control device used to stop motor vehicle traffic to allow pedestrians and bicyclists to cross the road safely.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, these beacons reduce overall collision rates by 29% and pedestrian collision rates by 69%. These beacon crossings are often used where conditions do not justify a full traffic signal and a marked crosswalk alone is not sufficient.

The city said a pedestrian hybrid beacon provides a similar crossing experience to a conventional traffic signal for people walking and bicycling, with less disruption to vehicle traffic flows on major city streets. 

“This is truly a bittersweet moment as we mourn the recent loss of one of our community members, Lesley Adams, who was tragically killed trying to cross this very street in early September,” said City Transportation Manager Luke Schwartz. “We hope these types of projects will prevent tragedies like this from happening again in the future and encourage drivers to yield to their fellow community members walking and biking at these street crossings.”

Community members are invited to a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony at the crossing’s intersection on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at 3 p.m. to coincide with Walk to School Day.

City staff will temporarily close a portion of Woodbridge Street for the ceremony and attendees are encouraged to carpool, walk, bike or take public transit as public parking may be limited.

To help educate the community on how to successfully use pedestrian hybrid beacon crossings, the City has prepared public educational videos and a helpful infographic to show community members how to use the intersection. 

This new beacon crossing, which began construction earlier this summer, was identified as a high-priority project in the City’s Active Transportation Plan and South Broad Street Area Plan and is intended to improve safety and connectivity for people walking and bicycling to nearby schools, parks, shopping, and other services.

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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.

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