“On or about Wednesday, July 31 at approximately 10:30 a.m. the newly installed pedestrian HAWK (High-Intensity Activated crossWalK) signal at the Florida Avenue and 11th Street NE intersection will be made fully operational. This pedestrian HAWK signal is the sixth one to be installed in the District by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to help pedestrians safely cross high traffic volume streets.
District law requires motorists to legally stop and give the right of way to pedestrians within crosswalks. However, DDOT research has shown that on busy, high traffic roadways, only about one in four drivers are willing to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk. If appropriate warrants are met, a HAWK signal can be installed on those roadways that do not meet engineering standards for installing a conventional traffic signal.
This pedestrian HAWK signal is currently operating in a flashing yellow mode to acclimate and alert drivers to the new signal. The HAWK’s full signal cycle and push buttons will be operational on or about July 31.
How Does A HAWK Signal Work
The HAWK signal is designed with a signal-beacon to help pedestrians safely cross busy streets.
While it appears differently to motorists, to the pedestrian the signal works similarly to other push-button-activated traffic signals in the District by stopping traffic with a red signal for vehicular traffic and allowing pedestrians to cross with a WALK signal.
For motorists, the HAWK signal displays standard signal indications but in a new sequence. When not in use, the HAWK signal is dark, and motorists should proceed normally. When activated, it will display a flashing yellow light, indicating to drivers to proceed with caution. Next it will display a solid yellow light for four seconds, indicating to drivers that they should slow down and prepare to stop. Next it will display a solid red, indicating to drivers to stop. Pedestrians will get a WALK signal at this point. Next, the motorists’ signal will flash red in an alternating pattern to indicate to drivers that they may proceed, after stopping, if the crosswalk is clear and it is safe to do so.”