New pedestrian-activated crosswalk on SR 90 in Sierra Vista to be active next week

Drivers should be alert for traffic control change starting Tuesday morning

PHOENIX — The first pedestrian-activated signalized crosswalk in Cochise County, located on State Route 90 at the intersection with Rainbow Way/Toscanini Avenue, just east of the junction with State Route 92 in Sierra Vista, will be operational starting Tuesday morning, April 21.

The specialized traffic light, known as a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon, is part of an Arizona Department of Transportation project to improve pedestrian safety on the highway.

This special type of traffic light, which has been deployed in the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas and across the nation to improve safety for pedestrians, is a system of indicator lights and signs that controls vehicle traffic to assist pedestrians in safely crossing a major street or highway at a marked crosswalk that does not have a standard traffic signal.

Motorists and pedestrians are urged to become familiar with how a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon operates. Printable instructions may be downloaded at azdot.gov/PHB.

The light is activated after a button is pushed by a pedestrian. Traffic is alerted to stop with a flashing yellow light followed by a solid yellow light and then by two solid red lights, providing motorists with an unmistakable message to stop. At this point, the pedestrian is signaled to walk safely across the street and the associated pedestrian countdown signal indicates how much time is left to cross the street. During this period, motorists are required to stop and remain stopped until pedestrians have finished crossing the street, and then motorists may proceed with caution when the red lights begin to flash alternately and also the crosswalk is clear of pedestrians.

Steps for Activation:

  • When there is no pedestrian waiting to cross, drivers see that all indication lights are dark; the pedestrian will see a “DON’T WALK” symbol. A pedestrian who wants to cross the street will need to push the button to activate the system.
  • When a pedestrian pushes the button, approaching drivers will see a FLASHING YELLOW light for a few seconds, indicating that they should reduce speed and be prepared to stop. Pedestrians will continue to see a “DON’T WALK” symbol and should wait.
  • Drivers will see a STEADY YELLOW light, warning drivers the indication will soon turn to a STEADY RED light. Pedestrians will continue to see the “DON’T WALK” symbol and should continue to wait.
  • Drivers will see a STEADY RED light, which requires them to STOP at the stop line. At this point, the pedestrian receives a “WALK” symbol to cross.
  • As the pedestrian crosses the street, drivers will see ALTERNATING FLASHING RED lights, indicating that they need to STOP and remain stopped until pedestrians have finished crossing the street. Drivers may proceed with caution if the crosswalk is clear. Pedestrians will see a flashing countdown that indicates how much time they have to cross the street.
  • At the end of the flashing countdown, drivers will see that all indication lights are dark; the pedestrian will see a “DON’T WALK” symbol. Drivers may continue to proceed through the crosswalk if it is clear; pedestrians waiting to cross will have to push the button to re-activate the system.

The Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon is one element of a $1.7 million project that includes construction of a mile-long shared-use pathway along the south side of SR 90 and new roadway lighting.

The project will be complete next week and motorists traveling on SR 90 east of the junction with SR 92 should be alert for the change in traffic control at the pedestrian hybrid beacon that allows pedestrians to stop vehicles traveling in both directions.