City News

HAWK signal to take flight

Lakewood Mayor Bob Murphy will push the button to become the first pedestrian to use an innovative traffic signal that assists pedestrians with crossing a heavily used street during a kickoff event at 2:30 p.m. March 20 at 260 Union Blvd.

Mayor Murphy will cross Union Boulevard near the Federal Center Station for the W Line using a High-intensity Activated Cross Walk signal, also known as a HAWK signal. The signal makes it safer and easier for pedestrians to cross Union to access the Federal Center Station and the businesses and office buildings along the boulevard. The HAWK is used to stop traffic only as needed when pedestrians are present.


With the nearby Federal Center for the federal government and St. Anthony Medical Campus, the Federal Center Station serves the Union corridor, which is home to about 13,000 jobs.


Mayor Murphy will cut the ribbon on the new signal and cross Union from the east to the west using the HAWK. Media attending the event may park in lots to the east of 260 Union Blvd.


The signal and a sidewalk connecting to the transit station were funded by Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery (FASTER), a state program to improve safety, and by the City of Lakewood.


How the HAWK works
To motorists, the signal looks like a triangular arrangement of a traditional stoplight, and the yellow and red lights indicate that motorists need to take the same actions as they would with a traditional traffic signal. Once a pedestrian presses the walk button, a yellow light in the lower portion of the triangle will flash, signaling drivers that a pedestrian wants to cross. The flashing yellow light will then turn a solid yellow to warn motorists to slow down to stop.


Next, the top two lights in the triangle will turn red, requiring motorists to stop. The pedestrian receives the signal to cross the street at this time. As the pedestrian crosses the street, the top two lights will remain red and flash. At this point, the flashing red lights function the same way as a stop sign. The flashing lights indicate that motorists may proceed after stopping as soon as it's safe for both the motorists and pedestrian.

Posted on: Tuesday, March 18, 2014