Wiley College became famous in the December 2007 movie “The Great Debaters” starring Denzel Washington. Located in Marshall, TX the growing student body of 1,200 will soon have a new bed dorm. The residential hall is located approximately 100 yards from two major streets that dissect the campus. Located at the one end of the streets, University Avenue, is a major industrial company. Students yield to cars, but “there have been a lot of close calls” according to J.C Hughes, Marshall’s Public Works Director. “It’s a matter of when, not if”.
During the December school break, a solar powered Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) system designed and manufactured by ELTEC was install on University Avenue. A 60′ wide “crossing area” was created with the RRFB installation. Two remote push buttons allow activation on either the east or west ends.
ELTEC sizes each solar powered (DC) pedestrian crossing based on estimated usage. Since the installation the students are much less prone to jay-walk using the “crossing area”. J.C. estimates between 600-750 daily activations.
A few miles from Wiley College is Good Shephard Medical Center. Last fall an employee using the unsignalized painted crosswalk from the parking lot to the hospital was seriously injured. The nurse trusted the car would yield. According to J.C. Hughes, the average speed is 45 MPH with a posted speed of 30 MPH.
After the near fatal accident, the City of Marshall installed ELTEC’s solar powered RRFB system supplemented with advanced warning signs. For additional safety, the night lightning was improved with the street light wattage increased from 150 to 450.
According to J.C., since the RRFB installation, the average car speed has dropped to 10 MPH.