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New School Pedestrian Crossings
A new Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) system was recently installed at Valley Middle School. Additionally, a new High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk Beacon (HAWK) signal was installed near Greenleaf Elementary School ahead of the 2021-22 school year.
Explore the resources below to learn more about how these crossing devices work and how they help keep students and drivers safe.
Valley Middle School
The City of Apple Valley 2020 Capital Improvement Program completed utility replacement, street reconstruction work and mill and overlay Improvements on Garden View Drive, including a pedestrian crosswalk and refuge island with a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) and additional turn lanes to the Valley Middle School access at the Baldwin intersection.
The City of Apple Valley is working closely with Valley Middle School to educate students and parents on how to use the RRFB. As the school year begins, school staff and Apple Valley Police will be present at the intersection to ensure the RRFB is being used safely and correctly.
To increase visibility and awareness, additional flashing lights will be added to the RRFB crosswalk signs and supplementary road signage will be placed to alert approaching drivers to the presence of a crosswalk so they are prepared to stop for pedestrians.
What is a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon?
A Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) is a traffic device that flashes lights to alert drivers that pedestrians are crossing the road. RRFBs help increase safety and make it easier to cross the street.
How Does an RRFB Work?
View the infographic to learn how to use an RRFB.
Click on the arrows to learn more.
Why was an RRFB installed at this intersection?
The improvements designed for this intersection are specifically aimed at pedestrian safety. The RRFB is a proven device to make drivers aware of pedestrians waiting to cross the intersection. Studies have shown good driver adherence to this warning. In addition, the center median enhances pedestrian safety by allowing pedestrians to cross one direction of traffic flow at a time and by providing for a safe refuge for the crossing.
Why was an RRFB installed instead of an all-way stop?
The City of Apple Valley hired a firm to conduct multiple traffic studies throughout the Garden View Drive RRFB project. Before construction of the RRFB was complete, a temporary all-way stop was installed at the intersection of Garden View Drive and Baldwin Avenue near Valley Middle School. All traffic studies concluded an RRFB was the best solution, and it was not recommended to keep the temporary all-way stop.
Why not implement both a 4 way stop and an RRFB at the intersection?
The Minnesota Manual on Uniform Traffic Control states that “The School Crossing assembly shall not be installed on approaches controlled by a STOP or YIELD sign or a traffic signal.”
Greenleaf Elementary School (New)
The City of Apple Valley 2019-2023 Capital Improvement Program includes the construction of a High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk Beacon (HAWK signal), center roadway median, trails/sidewalk and roadway widening near Greenleaf Elementary along Galaxie Avenue to accommodate pedestrian improvements for Safe Routes to School.
This new crosswalk equipped with a HAWK signal will help improve the flow and pedestrian safety during peak student drop-off and pick-up times. The City of Apple Valley is working closely with Greenleaf Elementary School to educate students and parents on how to use the HAWK signal. As the school year begins, school staff will be present at the intersection to ensure the RRFB is being used safely and correctly.
What is a HAWK Signal?
A High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk (HAWK) signal is a traffic control device designed to help pedestrians cross a mid-block crosswalk. The HAWK signal is only activated when a pedestrian is going to cross the street, which helps maintain constant traffic flow.
How Does a HAWK Signal Work?
View the infographic to learn how to use a HAWK signal.
If you have any questions, please email Brandon.Anderson@applevalleymn.gov or call 952-953-2400.