Project Summary

Getting individuals out to bike or walk, ensuring children get to school safely, encouraging people to meet up and participate with a sense of community, to relish pastoral scenery with no fear of motorists and traffic, this was the goal of the Topsfield Rail Trail Committee, who built the Topsfield Linear Common Trail in Topsfield, MA, through donations, grants, and volunteers. The Topsfield Trail is four miles long and is part of the Border-to-Boston Rail Trail, which reaches from Boston to the New Hampshire border. One part of the trail crosses State Route 97, a town controlled marked crossing where there are many motorists along with pedestrians and cyclists crossing the roadway via the trail. Through their own research, the Topsfield Committee learned about the rectangular rapid flashing beacon (RRFB), a traffic control device used as a supplemental warning beacon on marked crosswalks that are unsignalized, and they were very impressed with the effectiveness of the device. With the safety of trail users in mind, the Committee had enough money after the trail build to purchase a Carmanah R920 RRFB.

“At that price point, having the Carmanah R920 is the difference between having a protected crossing, or not. It was an easy decision. Seeing first hand other Carmanah Technologies products installed in Northern climates with an appealing design, gave me confidence that Carmanah knows what they are doing.” – Joe Geller, Chair, Topsfield Rail Trail Committee

Joe Geller, Chairman of the Topsfield Rail Trail Committee, noted “at that price point, having the Carmanah R920 is the difference between having a protected crossing, or not. It was an easy decision. Seeing first hand other Carmanah Technologies products installed in Northern climates with an appealing design, gave me confidence that Carmanah knows what they are doing.”

Product rendering of a traffic beacon flashing yellow with a crosswalk sign on a pole

Carmanah’s R920 RRFB has been designed from the ground up. All design decisions were based on energy efficiency, ease of installation, and cost- effectiveness. Optical, wireless, and energy management technology was leveraged in other Carmanah solar LED signaling products too. The result is a tightly integrated product that uses a fraction of the power of competitors.

When it was time to install the R920s, a group of rails-to-trails volunteers pre-assembled the R920, placed it in the back of a truck, dug the holes for the poles, poured the cement, and wired the systems themselves. It was a very simple and straightforward procedure. According to Mr. Geller, “The installation went very well, and we are very pleased with the result. It is just amazing how much we saved with a volunteer installation over hiring a contractor by purchasing the Carmanah R920.” The Topsfield Committee has already recommended the R920 to their neighboring towns.