Busy South Lamar gets safety boost with pedestrian hybrid beacons

To make things a little safer on South Lamar Boulevard near Oltorf Street, the City of Austin is adding a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon. (Amanda Dugan/KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The area on South Lamar Boulevard near Oltorf Street is growing with businesses and has several bus stops nearby, which can feel like a game of Frogger when trying to cross the road. To make things a little safer here, the City of Austin crews adding what they call a pedestrian hybrid beacon. It’s a warning device located on mast arms over midblock crossings.

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The device displays a red light to drivers that stops traffic and emits an audible “WALK” indication to pedestrians, allowing them to cross the road — especially those who are visually impaired. Construction began in February but was delayed due to weather. Felicia Ferguson lives and works in the area and says this beacon is very much needed.

“The safety factor is the biggest one,” she says. “It’s more efficient this way, and I think it’s going to be a great improvement to our community over here.”

Currently, there are 39 pedestrian hybrid beacons in Austin. If here’s a location you feel could use a PHB, 311 is the number to call to make a request. You can also make a PHB request online.

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