Vice-Mayor Richard Fimbres and the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) unveiled a new pedestrian crossing on Bilby Road, just west of Campbell Avenue at Sunnyside High School on Tuesday, January 15 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The new safety device is a pedestrian activated Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) intended to increase the visibility of uncontrolled marked crosswalks.
“The new Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon crosswalk was the result of the work of the Sunnyside High School Student Council, working with my office,” said Vice Mayor Fimbres. “The Student Council leadership, led by its President, Patrick Robles, Ricardo Echanove, Angel Medina Garcia and Edwardo Barron expressed concerns about the safety of the Sunnyside students going across Bilby to the Main Campus.”
Vice Mayor Fimbres and his staff, Mark Kerr, Lupita Robles and Mary Kuchar helped coordinate meetings between the high school students, Sunnyside High School officials and TDOT. The goal was to find a solution to increase pedestrian safety. The Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon crosswalk, and its location was the result of these discussions.
“This came about when everyone comes together to work to deal with an issue,” said Vice Mayor Richard Fimbres. “A solution was found by working together and my office worked with TDOT to get the crosswalk and infrastructure installed before the Spring Semester began, which was two months. This crosswalk will be a pilot program and will be monitored for its effectiveness.”
This RRFB crosswalk cost $28,000, six times less than a standard HAWK, that costs $175,000 and transportation officials say it can reduce accidents by 60%.
“I want to thank the leadership of the Sunnyside High School Student Council for their work, as well as Sunnyside School District Board Members Eva Dong, Beki Quintero Bobby Jaramillo and Superintendent Steve Holmes for their help with this,” said Vice Mayor Richard Fimbres, “With the Board’s support and Superintendent’s help, I and my office have also collaborated on this and several community projects that improved the quality of life for all, including: Speed Tables for Sierra Middle School, improvements to the Walking Path and other amenities at Gunny Barreras Park, the refurbished Sun Tran Bus Stop for Sunnyside High School, refurbished street lights at Sunnyside and, free spay and neuter clinics at Los Ranchitos and Mission Manor Schools.”
Vice Mayor Fimbres went on to say, “I want to thank TDOT Deputy Directors Robin Raine and Sam Credio, as well as Diahn Swartz and engineer Blake Olofson who got the crosswalk and infrastructure installed in two months.”
This is what we can do, when we come together to solve a problem.