ODOT turned on this new bilingual rapid flashing beacon in Cornelius Friday
Contact: Don Hamilton, 503-704-7452
Go here to see video of the Friday event.
CORNELIUS -- ODOT and Cornelius leaders took a major step toward making a safer community for everyone Friday by inaugurating a new rectangular rapid flashing beacon that will speak both Spanish and English to pedestrians on Tualatin Valley Highway.
At a news conference Friday, ODOT Director Kris Strickler Friday, Metro Councilor Juan Carlos Gonzalez and Cornelius City Councilor John Colgan joined other local leaders in launching the new bilingual beacon at North 12th Avenue and Adair Street along Tualatin Valley Highway (OR 8), adjacent to the Centro Cultural Community Center and Virginia Garcia Clinic.
The new beacon, the region’s newest bilingual beacon, will serve the growing multi-cultural Cornelius community and improve safety for everybody along the busy highway.
“What we do is always about the people who do the work and the people who will benefit from the work,” Strickler said. “The improvements we make enhance livability, safety, access and the environment. This investment in pedestrian safety on TV Highway is one of many examples of improvements we are making. We are committed to working with all of you to improve safety and meaningfully partner and serve historically underserved communities along TV Highway.”
The rectangular rapid flashing beacons have become an increasingly familiar sight on state and local roads. They improve safety by allowing pedestrians to activate flashing amber lights that alert oncoming motorists to people preparing to cross the road. ODOT has nearly 50 of them in the Portland area and plans more in the future, including 10 on the Outer Powell Project on U.S. 26.
Go to this web site for more information about how ODOT uses the beacons and for videos in English and Spanish.
ODOT started using pedestrian activated beacons on Portland area roads a decade ago and has found them an effective tool for improving safety on busy corridors, especially in areas with long distances between traffic signals. They add an important layer of visibility for people walking, biking or rolling.
“ODOT and the City of Cornelius listened to our concerns about safety and worked with us to make this improvement possible. We are very grateful - not just for this new beacon, but for the way in which ODOT partnered with the City and community based organizations to integrate us in the design of a beacon that is both audible and bilingual,” said Metro Councilor Juan Carlos Gonzalez.
The new Cornelius beacon is part of a continuing effort by ODOT, the City of Cornelius, Centro Cultural and Virginia Garcia Clinic to improve safety and integrate equity into design and construction of projects. Cornelius is welcoming new residents, new businesses and new voices and encouraging them to advocate for infrastructure that will improve safety. The City of Cornelius and community based organizations are continuing to advocate for all members of the community.
For the last 24 years Lyn Jacobs has worked for the Virginia Garcia Wellness Center overlooking the intersection. On Friday she described seeing people with walkers, strollers and children attempting to cross the street and cars failing to stop.
“It gives us great joy to provide this service for our community,” she said. “We are so excited to have this. It is a huge benefit to everybody in the community who needs to access to our dental and medical services. We appreciate you and we appreciate you listening.”
The beacons are a critical part of our efforts at ODOT to maintain a modern and safe transportation system, a priority in our Strategic Action Plan.