Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs)


Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon

Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) are a set of high-intensity yellow lights, mounted below a pedestrian warning sign, adjacent to a crosswalk. When a person on foot approaches the crosswalk, he or she presses an accessible button that activates multiple sets of yellow flashing lights and quickly signals to drivers that they must yield to the crossing pedestrian. RRFBs help increase the visibility of pedestrians at existing crosswalks.

As a complete streets leader, Arlington installed its first two RRFBs over ten years ago to pilot this new innovative technology. In May 2020, the Federal Highway Administration recognized Arlington County for its efforts to deploy RRFBs to improve pedestrian safety. There are now over 35 locations with existing or planned RRFBs in Arlington.

Are RRFBs an effective safety tool?

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that RRFBs can reduce pedestrian crashes up to 47% and increase motorist yield rates up to 98%.

Further, Arlington County collected data at Washington Blvd & N Utah St in Fall 2018 to evaluate how the addition of the RRFB impacts driver and pedestrian interactions. Results showed that flashing lights from RRFB reduce vehicle speeds by 10 mph and driver probability to yield to crossing pedestrian increases by 35%.

View the Vision Zero Multimodal Engineering Safety Toolbox to learn more about the efficacy of RRFBs.

Where does Arlington have RRFBs?

RRFBS Map.jpg


RRFBs are located at the following pedestrian/bicycle crossings in Arlington:

  • S Walter Reed Dr & 12th St S
  • S Walter Reed Dr & 14th St S
  • 7th Rd S and Tyrol Hill Park
  • Arlington Mill Dr and S Quincy St
  • S Carlin Springs Rd and 8th Rd S
  • Columbia Pike and S Oakland St
  • Crystal Dr and Mt Vernon Trail Stub
  • George Mason and 4th St N 
  • Langston Blvd and Kenmore St
  • N Carlin Springs Rd and N Harrison St
  • N Harrison St near Langston Blvd
  • N Quincy St and 15th St N
  • N Sycamore St and 17th St N
  • S Arlington Mill Dr and The Windgate
  • S Four Mile Run and S Oakland St
  • S Glebe Rd and 9th St S
  • Shirlington Rd and Four Mile Run Trl
  • Washington Blvd and 25th St N
  • Washington Blvd and N Nelson St
  • Washington Blvd and N Utah St
  • Wilson Blvd and N Emerson St
  • Fairfax Dr and N Kansas St
  • Langston Blvd and N Nelson St
  • Washington Blvd and 4th St N
  • Washington Blvd and 9th St N
  • N Quincy St and 14th St N
  • N Irving St & 10th St N
  • Wilson Blvd & N Kenmore St
  • 15th St S and S Elm St
  • S Eads S & 13th St S
  • S Glebe Rd near S Lang St
  • Columbia Pike and S Frederick St
  • 7th Rd S and Campbell Elementary
  • George Mason and N Park Dr
  • N Carlin Springs Rd and N Edison St
  • Wilson Blvd near N Oak St - coming soon
  • S Manchester St near 2nd St S / Kenmore Middle - coming soon 

Please visit the Vision Zero Quick-Build Safety Projects page for information on upcoming RRFB projects. Additionally, RRFBs may be built as part of upcoming County or private development projects. 



How does Arlington decide where to install RRFBs?



To understand which locations work best for RRFBs, County staff conducts on-site analysis at locations, measuring:

  • Vehicle speeds
  • Vehicle yielding rates to pedestrians in the crosswalk
  • Pedestrian counts and characteristics, and
  • Pedestrian behavior (whether they activated the RRFB)

The site observations also considered factors like speed limit, number of lanes and other context-specific information. View the Vision Zero Multimodal Engineering Safety Toolbox to learn more about how the County identifies the appropriate safety enhancements for pedestrian/bicycle crossings.

2-Staged Crossing with RRFBs

Arlington installed its first 2-staged crossing at S Carlin Springs and 8th Rd S as part of the S Carlin Springs Safety Measures project in summer 2020. The benefits of this 2-staged crossing design reduces crossing distance, decreases pedestrian wait time and allows pedestrians to focus on traffic one direction at a time. Learn how to safely navigate a 2-staged crossing.