The following post is reprinted from the summer 2015 SRCC Neighborhood Newsletter:
The City of Austin recognizes the benefit of PHBs (Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons), which are pedestrian activated warning devices, and has created a master list of PHB requests. This list is continually updated and the requests are scored and ranked twice a year. The score for each request is based on the following criteria:
- Roadway Score: Includes considerations such as the distance to the nearest signal or stop sign, number of lanes to cross, speed limit and whether there is a median.
- Pedestrian Score: Includes considerations such as the pedestrian crash history and the number and type of pedestrian attractors in the area. Pedestrian attractors may include stores, restaurants, multifamily developments, bus stops, churches, schools, parks, etc. Also considers whether there is a facility in the area whose primary clientele is a mobility impaired community.
- Community Score: Includes considerations such as whether the requested location is recommended for a PHB as part of an adopted neighborhood, corridor or master plan; is part of a school route or within an Environmental Justice Area.
At present, the SRCC neighborhood has 5 PHB requests that have been scored and ranked but not constructed (listed here with their criteria scores) – Congress @ Krebs (Score 610), 515 S Congress (Score 540), Congress @ Alpine (Score 515), Riverside @ Summit (Score 415), and Riverside @ Almeda (Score 215).
Even though PHBs have created numerous additional safe crossings throughout the City, all existing PHBs were built using funding from sources (such as bonds) that are now used up. There are no existing or planned funds specifically for future PHBs. Hopefully the City will be able to identify new funding sources so that this program can continue.
A PHB at Riverside and Alameda would greatly enhance the safety of pedestrians crossing Riverside at Alameda to reach the boardwalk, but some SRCC residents have noted concerns about an additional traffic signal along Riverside that may increase cut-through traffic through the neighborhood. There are also concerns that if a PHB crossing is installed at this location that non-residents may begin parking along Alameda to access the Town Lake Trail.
– Mike Sledge, SRCC Transportation Committee
The above post is reprinted from the summer 2015 SRCC Neighborhood Newsletter.