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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 1331, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Pedestrian hybrid beacons

How does a pedestrian hybrid beacon work?

A pedestrian hybrid beacon is designed to help people walk across busy streets. While different in appearance to a person driving, to a person walking this signal works the same as any button-activated traffic signal. It stops traffic with a red signal allowing people walking or biking to cross safely.

Image courtesy NACTO

How to use

Using a pedestrian hybrid beacon is easy. Simply push the button and wait for the WALK signal to appear. It may take up to one minute for the signal to change, depending on the time of day. Be sure traffic has stopped before you enter the crosswalk. The FLASHING DON’T WALK signal will appear as you finish your crossing. Countdown numbers will show how much time remains to cross the street.

Pedestrian hybrid beacon pedestrian sequence

1. The signal remains DARK for traffic unless a person walking activates the push-button.
Pedestrian hybrid beacon motorist sequence

2. When a person walking presses the button, approaching drivers will see a FLASHING YELLOW signal for a few seconds, indicating that the signal has been activated.

3. The flashing yellow is followed by a SOLID YELLOW signal, indicating that people driving should reduce speed and be prepared to stop.

4. The solid yellow is followed by double SOLID RED signals, requiring people driving to stop

5. The double solid red signals are followed by double FLASHING RED signals. The signal will then go dark until activated again by a person walking.

During the double FLASHING RED signal indication, people driving are required to come to a full STOP, but may proceed when people walking have cleared the crosswalk and it is safe to proceed.

Side Street Traffic

Unlike a standard traffic signal, intersections with pedestrian hybrid beacon do not have any traffic signals facing the side street approaches. Any side street that is controlled by a stop sign will continue to be controlled by a stop sign when a pedestrian hybrid beacon is in place.

Pedestrian hybrid beacons compared to half-signals

  Pedestrian hybrid beacon Half-signal
Stop signs on minor street X X
Signal for drivers on major street X X
Walk signal on major street when button pressed X X
Used both midblock and at intersections X X
Red-yellow-green signal   X
Red-yellow signal X  
Green light on major street when crosswalk not in use   X
Portland example View link View link