Snohomish County will install a new activated crosswalk system in front of the YMCA on Puget Park Drive near Snohomish to monitor its effectiveness for future uses.
Called “HAWK” for High intensity Activated crossWalK, the system uses a red-yellow-red light sequence to alert drivers that pedestrians are about to cross the road. The system is activated when a pedestrian presses a button on the traffic signal pole. The overhead signal begins flashing yellow and then becomes a solid yellow, advising drivers to prepare to stop. The signal then displays a solid red and shows the pedestrian a “Walk” indicator.
The solid red light is followed by an alternating flashing red signal indicating that motorists may proceed after coming to a full stop if there are no pedestrians in the crosswalk. While motorists see the flashing red light, pedestrians see a flashing “Don’t Walk” with a countdown indicating the time left to cross. When not activated, the signal is blank and the “Do Not Walk” indicator is visible to pedestrians.
“The county is always looking for ways to improve safety and accessibility for pedestrians,” Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon said. “This first HAWK signal will be monitored by Public Works for future consideration at other intersections.”
The system was developed in Tucson, Ariz., to provide safer road crossing options for pedestrians and has since been successfully used throughout the United States.
Installation of the new crosswalk and signal will begin in mid-October and is expected to be completed by the end of December. During construction there will be occasional temporary one-lane closures on Puget Park Drive.
For more information or to register for project updates, go to www.snoco.org and search “HAWK.”