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City of Sparks to Install Flashing Pedestrian Safety Beacons on Baring Blvd. in Front of Reed High School

Sparks, NV – For improved pedestrian safety, the city of Sparks plans to install two Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB) in front of Reed High School on Baring Blvd.

In response to an October 2018 crash that tragically killed a Reed High School student, the City contracted with an independent engineering/transportation firm to collect data and study both pedestrian and driver behaviors on Baring Blvd. between Sparks Blvd. and Springland Drive. The study effort included collecting and analyzing vehicle and pedestrians counts, lighting and historical crash data in the area and then recommending improvements to the City.

Students from Reed High School attended a November 2018 Sparks City Council meeting, petitioning for safety improvements to be made in the area.

“We took their concerns very seriously and immediately began studying ways to make the area safer for students, pedestrians and drivers,” said Assistant City Manager Neil Krutz.

Based on the consultant’s safety recommendations, the City will construct two Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB) and additional lighting at two existing crosswalks, one at Baring Blvd. and Sorensen Way and the other in front of the Port of Subs restaurant. The two other existing crosswalks will be removed and the Reed High School fence that currently provides access to one of the crosswalks will be closed.

“The safety of students, both pedestrians and drivers, in the area is our highest concern,” Krutz said. “We have been working diligently with the Washoe County School District and believe adding flashing beacons and additional lighting; and closing the two additional crosswalks will greatly improve safety by encouraging pedestrians to use only the two enhanced crossings.”

“All of us at the Washoe County School District are grateful for the quick response from the city of Sparks,” said Pete Etchart, chief operations officer for WCSD. “We share a commitment to the safety of our students and staff members, and this type of technology plays such an important role in that commitment. We look forward to working in partnership with the City in the future.”

The enhanced crosswalks with flashing beacons and lighting improvements will be installed before the start of the 2019/2020 school year. Construction will take place during the summer months when school is not in session.

Example of RRFB

Map of improvements