PATERSON, NJ - By name, Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFB), the devices recently installed on Park Avenue in front of Eastside High School might sound like complicated pieces of machinery. The reality is the solar powered flashing lights are as simple to understand as their mission, to keep students, and other pedestrians, safe when crossing the busy roadway.

With over 2000 students attending the three schools at the Eastside High School campus every day, and thousands of cars traveling along the roadway, too many of them speeding or being operated in otherwise unsafe ways, Superintendent Eileen Shafer said, opportunities for accidents are rife. 

“This is what modern municipalities do,” Mayor Andre Sayegh said of the new lights, part of what he termed a “pilot project” that he said will be part of a larger effort to make Paterson’s streets safer for those traversing them on foot. 

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Announcing that a second set of RRFBs have been installed on 20th Street near Governor Paterson Towers 5th Ward Councilman Luis Velez promised “this is just the beginning.”

Drawing the most attention was Eastside High School student Tayheem Slade who said that he walks that route every day to school and has seen cars “fly by.”

“Now I know my city cares,” Slade, decked out in his Jr. ROTC fatigues continued before sharing his pride for being a Patersonian. 

“I want to represent my school and where I’m from.”


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