Rapid flashing beacon pedestrian crossing in Aloha, Ore.

The City of Vancouver is installing three rapid flashing beacon pedestrian crossings, like this one in Aloha, Ore. (Eric O'Brien/Flickr)

The City of Vancouver is setting up a new kind of pedestrian crossing as part of a pilot project to help residents get across busy streets at three different crosswalk locations.

With the new system, known as a rapid flashing beacon, pedestrians can use a push button to activate a high-intensity amber beacon light when they want to cross.

The city hopes the light will signal to drivers and cyclists that a pedestrian is crossing and make it safer for pedestrians to venture into intersections where drivers rarely let people cross.

Rapid flashing beacon crossing in Davis, California

An example of a pedestrian crossing with a rapid flashing beacon in Davis, Calif. (Lara Justine/Flickr)

The new lights are being installed this week at:

  • Victoria Drive and Grant Street (near Victoria Park)
  • West Boulevard and 42nd Avenue (near Kerrisdale Community Centre)
  • Elliot Street and Waverly Avenue (near Waverly Elementary School and Nanaimo Park)

In a news release, the city said the system has already been tested in B.C.'s Lower Mainland, including Surrey, New Westminster and Port Moody and is already in use in Portland, Washington D.C. and other large U.S. cities.

Map of new rapid flashing beacons in Vancouver

Watch video of rapid flashing beacons in Aloha, Ore.

RRF Beacons - Hwy 8 - 2011 Nov - 011