Howard Street Crossing with Flashing Beacons


New pedestrian crossing signals, or Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons ("RRFB"), have been installed at the North Branch Trail and Howard Street. They are designed to alert approaching vehicles of pedestrians crossing the roadway. Illinois law requires motorists to stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the road in a crosswalk. Pedestrians should activate the beacons by pressing the activation button on the sign posts. Pedestrians are reminded that even though they have the right of way, they should ensure approaching vehicles have come to a complete stop prior to crossing the street. Questions about rectangular flashing beacons should be directed to Public Works at (847) 588-7900.

Further Information on Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons and the Howard Street Crossing

  1. Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB’s) are a tool mentioned by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) for the potential implementation at unsignalized intersections and mid-block crossings.
  2. The intent of the RRFB’s is to increase driver awareness of potential pedestrian, bicycle, and other conflicts (non-motorists).
  3. RRFB’s are commonly push button activated.  Once triggered, the RRFB lights will go on for a predetermined time allowing the non-motorist to cross the street during the allotted time.
  4. The RRFB in conjunction with pavement markings and signage will raise awareness of the crossing.  However, non-motorists should never assume vehicles have perceived the warnings and always confirm that vehicles have completely stopped before crossing.  
  5. The North Branch Trail at Howard Street Crossing improvements are incorporating the following safety features:
    1. RRFB’s with push button activation
    2. Crosswalk Pavement Markings
    3. Crosswalk Signage and Advanced Crosswalk Signage
    4. ADA Crossing Features (ramps and ADA panels)
    5. Center Median / Refuge Island
    6. The roadway has been reduced from four lanes to two lanes (On-Street Bike lanes have been added to Howard, so be careful to watch for bike and vehicular conflicts)
    7. Roadway lighting will be added as part of the Howard-ST Project from Milwaukee Ave to the bridge.
  6. Please be careful crossing the road at this and any crossing location. Look both ways, watch for pedestrian, bicycle, vehicles, and other conflicts. Make sure all types of opposing traffic have seen you and stop before crossing. Follow Illinois right-of-way laws, but always confirm compliance by others as well before proceeding.

Learn more about the Howard Street Improvement Project.