VTrans will not allow the town of Waitsfield to install rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFB) on all of the five pedestrian crosswalks in Irasville and Waitsfield Village.
Waitsfield town administrator Annie Decker-Dell’Isola said that VTrans prefers that each crosswalk be considered individually and that other solutions be tried before RRFBs are installed. Over the course of late 2021 and 2022 the town worked with a Tiger Team made up of members of the Mad River Valley Transportation Advisory Committee, VTrans, and the Mad River Valley Planning District on ways to improve pedestrian safety.
Last year the town applied for and received a grant to install one RRFB at the crosswalk by the Waitsfield Elementary School which connects to the sidewalk on the west side of Route 100 by the intersection of Old County Road and Main Street/Route 100.
But before that RRFB can be installed, the radar feedback sign north of that crosswalk has to be moved because VTrans doesn’t allow too many signs that close to each other, Decker-Dell’Isola explained.
“We have to relocate that speed radar sign and need to revisit that issue with VTrans, she said. There is also a question about whether that speed radar sign has to be within the village and 30-mile-an-hour speed zone.
Decker-Dell’Isola said that once those issues were resolved, the town would be looking to hire someone to coordinate moving the radar sign and installing the RRFB. The grant to install the RRFB is $19,400. The RRFB itself costs $12,000-$15,000 and the project will need to be engineered. Decker-Dell’Isola said that it is likely that costs will have increased from when the project was priced out last year.
In addition to the crosswalk by the Waitsfield Elementary School, there is one by the Valley Players, one at the corner of Main Street and Bridge Street, one at the corner of Carroll Road and Main Street and one that connects the west side of the sidewalk to the southern entrance of the Village Square Shopping Center.
Decker-Dell’Isola said that reflective tape and signage were added to some of those crosswalk signs and said that speed limits were adjusted, slowing drivers as they enter the two village areas.
“We’re going to need a treatment plan for each crosswalk at this point,” she said and added that the Tiger Team work would need to restart soon.
“VTrans won’t approve an RRFB at each crosswalk but in terms of guidance from them as to which locations make the most sense, they don’t have specific standards. They prefer that we try other treatments before RRFBs,” she noted.