Improving Communities:
Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon

Fehr & Peers designs innovative device for Union City

In early 2014, Fehr & Peers was selected to prepare a design for a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon (PHB) at a mid-block location on a busy arterial in Union City, CA. The location is between two signalized intersections, neither of which provided convenient access across Alvarado-Niles Road. Each side of the street has thriving commercial/retail uses, and unfortunately collisions involving pedestrians were historically occurring, some of them fatal.

The City secured funding from the Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program to install a PHB, curb extensions, and a median fence. Fehr & Peers assembled a team of Civil Engineers and a Utility Location Company to design these safety improvements. About five years since the initial safety study, the beacon is now active and providing the community a much improved crossing option.

How does the PHB work?

See PEDSAFE site for additional information.


For pedestrians, the PHB system will include push buttons and pedestrian signal indications similar to those at typical intersections.


For motorists approaching the crossing, the PHB system consists of Red-Yellow-Red vehicle signals. When drivers see a flashing or steady yellow light, they’ll know to stop for pedestrians.

*Rotate view on mobile device to see full visual.



Hawk Signal Deactivated

Proceed with Caution


Push Button to Cross

Blinking Yellow Hawk Signal

Slow Down
(Pedestrian has activated
the push button)



Solid Yellow Hawk Signal

Prepare to Stop


Continue To Wait

Double Solid Red Hawk Signal

(Pedestrian in crosswalk)


Start Crossing

Double Blink Red Hawk Signal

(Proceed with
caution if clear

Countdown Blink Signal

Continue Crossing

How could your community benefit from a similar project?