Sunday, November 25, 2007

We Can Use Some HAWK's Around Here

I have never been comfortable with multi-use trail and pedestrian arterial road crossings that do not provide protection for bicyclists and pedestrians. Even the flashing yellow signals do not seem to slow down speeding motorists.

The Tucson AZ DOT came up with a very innovative pedestrian crossing signal called the High-intensity Activated crossWalK or HAWK.

The unit is normally off until activated by a pedestrian or bicyclists. When a pedestrian wishes to cross the street, they press a button and the signal begins with a FLASHING YELLOW indication to warn the approaching drivers, just like a school bus signal. The FLASHING YELLOW is then followed by a SOLID YELLOW indication, advising the drivers to prepare to stop. The signal is then changed to a SOLID RED indication at which time the pedestrian is shown a WALK indication. The beacon signal then converts to an ALTERNATING FLASHING RED, allowing the drivers to proceed when safe, after stopping at the crosswalk.


andrew said...

It looks effective, but it doesn't do much for the hostility of that intersection to pedestrians. Repainting the crosswalks would be nice, for instance. And I wish we could get a closer look at what appears to be an off-street bike path on the other side!