The HAWK signal is designed to aid pedestrians when crossing at a mid-block crosswalk. A HAWK signal was installed as a pilot program on Montgomery Drive across from Spring Lake Village. City traffic engineers monitored its operation to evaluate its effectiveness and applicability in other mid-block crossings throughout the City. The HAWK signal evaluation proved effective as is evident by the installation of the City's second HAWK signal located at the mid-block crossing of Mendocino Avenue and McConnell across from Santa Rosa Junior College.
How is a HAWK Signal Different Than Other Traffic Signals?
Like conventional traffic signals, the HAWK signal provides a pedestrian with an indication notifying them when to cross the street. Unlike conventional traffic signals, the HAWK is only operational when activated by a pedestrian.
Operationally, the HAWK signal rests in a dark state, allowing normal traffic flow. In its resting state, the HAWK displays a constant "Don't Walk" indication for pedestrian crossing until activated by a pedestrian.
When a pedestrian presses the button, approaching drivers will see a flashing yellow signal indicating that they should reduce speed and be prepared to stop for pedestrians. The signal then changes to a solid yellow, then a solid red light indicating for drivers to stop. Once the dual red lights begin to alternately flash, vehicles must stop for pedestrians but are permitted to proceed if there are no pedestrians in the crosswalk.
When the signal is dark and if the pedestrian crossing has completed, the vehicular movement can continue through the crosswalk.
The new HAWK signal features equipment that provides pedestrians with information about when the walk signal is on. An audible tone and vibrating arrow button help visually impaired people locate the push button.