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ODOT activates bilingual rapid flash pedestrian beacon in Cornelius

About 50 beacons are in use across the region. The new beacon on TV-Highway is one of the first to address pedestrians in both English and Spanish.

CORNELIUS, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) calls them RRFBs, or Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons.

“This is a very effective tool in getting traffic to slow down,” said Don Hamilton with ODOT.

Pedestrians looking to cross the street in high-traffic areas press the button, which activates the flashing beacon. It's a big visual cue to drivers. 

“That’s what that flashing light means," said Hamilton. "Somebody’s getting ready to cross the road, and they activated the beacon, and they’re looking out for you. You need to look out for them."

There are about 50 across the region, but the latest activation in Cornelius represents one of the first bilingual installations in the region.

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“I think it’s a win-win for everyone involved,” said Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Oregon Metro Councilor.

Cornelius has a population more than 12,000. According to the 2020 census, more than half the town’s population is Hispanic or Latino. Gonzalez calls the new beacon inclusive infrastructure.

“What we’re doing with the safety beacon in Cornelius is becoming a new best practice. In addition to helping reduce crashes to protect pedestrians, I think it also builds community and it builds place,” said Carlos Gonzalez.

Chris McGinness is a meteorologist and transportation reporter for KGW. Got a story idea or a great photo you want to share? Send an email to him at cmcginness@kgw.com or reach out on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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