WSDOT explains new Highway 104 crosswalk; activation tentatively set for Feb. 4


There’s a new HAWK in town, and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has prepared a video explaining how it works.

HAWK stands for High-intensity Activated CrossWalK. It’s a unique type of signalized crosswalk being installed on SR 104 in Edmonds. According to WSDOT, it’s the first of its kind on a state highway in Snohomish and King counties.

The HAWK signal is aimed at providing pedestrians with safer access across SR 104 near City Park. While pedestrians and cyclists will find the crosswalk to be similar to others (press the crosswalk button, wait for the signal to indicate it’s time to walk), drivers will need to adjust to the signal. This reference guide shows you how it works, but in short:

  • Dark signal: When there is no pedestrian activity at the crosswalk, the signal will appear dark as though it is turned off.
  • Flashing yellow signal: When a pedestrian presses the crosswalk button, the signal will have a flashing yellow light warning drivers that a pedestrian wishes to cross and drivers should start slowing.
  • Solid yellow signal: This alerts drivers to begin stopping because the signal is about to change to red.
  • Solid red: All vehicles are required to stop to allow pedestrians to cross.
  • Flashing red: Flashing red signals means drivers may proceed through the crosswalk one at a time after stopping to verify the crosswalk is clear of pedestrians.
  • Dark signal: The signal will then go back to dark until the crosswalk button is pushed again.

WSDOT said it chose the HAWK signal for this area to give drivers clear notice that a pedestrian wishes to cross. As always, pedestrians should also take care that it appears safe to enter the crosswalk at all times.

In addition, the speed limit approaching the new crosswalk will be lowered to 35 mph.

The Highway 104 signal is tentatively scheduled to be activated on Wednesday, Feb. 4.


  1. And too bad there isn’t this kind of tech at the crossing of 236th and 104 where school children could benefit. But those condos on the hill must have their park access…

  2. I have to agree with John. People drive too fast both up and down the hill. I fear someone will be injured in the near future.

  3. Will there be a way to monitor this signal to know just how often it is used and what time of day it is most frequently used?

  4. II’m pleased that WSDOT and the city have worked together to make this crossing available. I venture to think that many people avoid this area because it has been unsafe to cross. It makes a natural transition from the marsh to the park and also helps in connecting Pt. Edwards residents with the downtown. We are a walking community, let’s embrace the opportunity!

    In regard to understanding the light sequence: any competent driver ought to have a clear understanding of traffic signals. If not don’t drive in Canada as they use flashing signals to let drivers know to slow down as the light is about to change!

    Michael, I agree with you. Hopefully WSDOT and the city will see the benefits of this new concept and install one.

  5. We have laws against cronyism and clearly this crosswalk at this highway is for the select few at Pt. Edwards (nine small buildings compared to the rest of town) including a Council member, developer, etc. There is already a large crossing very close to this. As condos here have a rating for access to town which one can assume percentage access is raised now to help sell ones for better sales……..As there is no marked crosswalk on the other side of City Park for CHILDREN to safely cross, I guess Im wondering how few children (if any at Pt. Edwards) would even be allowed by parents to cross a 50 mile an hour highway? I would venture none…..People at the direct other side of City Park have written in numerous times about near misses of cars hitting children……I hope when people go to vote, this is remembered. WHO comes first in this town……even before children……Seems to me, something terribly wrong with this

    Edmonds spring

  6. As a local citizen that has requested a crosswalk be put in place on 8th and Walnut Street where a resident was struck and killed just a year ago, I continue to be frustrated with my city! The city has created and maintains (and just a week ago finished a major renovation on) a pedestrian pathway that connects Alder, Walnut and Cedar streets, at what would be 8th avenue. They built these nice paths and then give no safe, marked way to cross the streets! The answer I get every time I talk to the city about my request is that crosswalks are not always the safe answer and they would need to do extensive surveys and pedestrian counts before they could consider putting in a crosswalk. At the speed in which this crosswalk on SR104 has been implemented, I would like to see all the studies and pedestrian counts they did!

    • I fully agree that there are numerous spots around our city that need improvements for pedestrian safety. The new SR104 crosswalk is not a project that was undertaken by our city; it is a WSDOT project, since SR104 is a state highway.

      Improvements on 3rd Ave. along city park and at 8th and Walnut, are just a couple of examples of what’s needed . To be better heard, citizens should give their comments at a city council meeting.

      • It always helps WHO all is in thick with WSDOT…..not much to research this…….as also with PSRC………..or other entities including real estate associations, including national……..some times just following the money tells everything, in my opinion. A code of ethics is clearly needed and a board to enforce it.

        Edmonds needs a government that answers to its citizens very very basic needs…..bottom up infrastructure being one of the first needs…
        ……..not top down. We dont live in a kingdom!…..We pay all those in our government……for the people, by the people

        A heads up for whoever finally (after serious long term injury of one citizen simply walking home from work a short distance and probably more people injured) gave the simple ok to sand all the areas on our sidewalks that were big trip and fall hazards……..dangerous areas……a no brainer at the get go
        Thank You!

  7. I think the new pedestrian signal crossing is a wonderful and much needed traffic safety improvement for Edmonds. I am saddened by the negative comments. Although SR 104 is a vital cross-state highway link to the Olympic Peninsula, it has also created a virtual pedestrian “Berlin Wall” through the middle of our lovely city. Creating more safe pedestrian crossings like this one through this “wall” and our other major highway “walls” in Edmonds is still much needed to make our city even more walkable and livable. We need to insist that the City Council and state legislature allocate more funding for this purpose. A one or two penny increase in the state gas tax earmarked for this purpose could pay for thousands of new crosswalks and other pedestrian safety improvements.

    This new pedestrian crossing will also make it possible for us to be able to walk safely from Edmonds to see our friends in Woodway. Because SR 104 is a state highway, the state patrol also has responsibility for ensuring motorist compliance with this new signalized crossing.

    • Dennis: I think the problem here is prioritization and the perception of favoritism at the expense of safety. Why did we need a crossing from Pt Edwards to the city park, when there are already crossings at Dayton and Main that give access to the majority of west Edmonds and are naturally safer because their not on a grade? Why is this new safety technology not installed to benefit Madrona and Sherwood school child crossings at 104? Was the new crossing lobbied by a resident or residents at Pt Edwards to enhance that developments value? Why do we have to contribute more via gas taxes when current projects appear to be prioritized by favoritism?

  8. This new crosswalk, that serves one of Edmonds largest parks and a large portion of the west facing hillside, is funded to the tune of 97% by WADOT and 3% by Edmonds.

    • The WADOT funds and Edmonds funds ALL come from the same pot……the taxpayers money paid to our government……not just to be used for the select few, and if there was ever a good example of funds used for the select few, this is it. This is also researched easily……..this is not a crossing for children to get to the park

  9. I do need to share how saddened/frustrated I am by many of these comments expressed. “Those 9 buildings” plus many residents of Woodway will be using this much safer crosswalk. We pay taxes and we shop in downtown Edmonds. How many have walked on the marsh side of 104? – certainly not the most pleasant of experiences, especially if a ferry has just disembarked. Now add that most of the project was paid by WSDOT – what is the issue here? I applaud the new crossing and I trust that most drivers will become accustomed to the new flashing signals. Now it is time to make other crossings within Edmonds safer!!

  10. For a mere $12,000 a heavily used intersection (216th SW/72nd) would have ADA compliant wheelchair curb cuts. This intersection is a block west of Hwy 99 and leads up to the east entrance to Swedish. Lots of traffic going throughout the day (commercial trucks, cars, buses) while seniors (Aegis Memory Care/others), disabled (rehab facility next to Aegis) and others using walkers/canes, trying to make a quick race across the same intersection. Some in wheelchairs falling out or struggling due to improper ramps. For $12,000, these vulnerable individuals could move about their neighborhood safely. But we’re told to wait after waiting for many years. Not all the stories about ‘crossing the street’ are the same. And in this case, it will result in harm, @ some point, to seniors and the disabled.

    • I took a “walk” at 216th SW and 72nd via google earth and there are wheelchair curb cuts on both sides of the street. These are the same type of cuts that exist in numerous parts of Edmonds. They appear to be adequate for wheelchair use.

  11. It is a known fact that highways are dangerous places for pedestrians to cross, with or without crosswalks and lights…….99 being a perfect example……The records for this are easily accessed. Unless you can build an overpass (such as the two at Shoreline) you will always have major pedestrian injuries…..Highways were made for cars, not people. There will be harm as has been recently shown on our revitalized stretch of Highway 99…..and usually these are shamefully the low income people as this is where we stick them.

    Again, in Edmonds it would be sensible and prudent (regarding ANY Of of the citizens tax dollars) if SAFETY came first for the citizens of this town

    One would think it would be politcally savy too.

    Edmonds Spring

  12. Thanks to WADOT and our city professional staff, who consistently make decisions in the best interest of the citizens they serve, Edmonds is one crosswalk safer and one crosswalk more walkable. Thanks to all that made this happen.

  13. We have have several boards, commissions, and committees that have a say on how we spend our money on traffic safety and all other financial decisions made in this city. Often the city council responds to any citizen concerns brought up at their weekly meeting. It is easy to bitch, from the sidelines. If you want to make a positive impact in our city get involved.
    Anyone can throw rocks from the sidelines. Join in and make a difference.

    • very funny, coming from Mr. Page………those of us working hard doing all the research regarding our government and ETHICS and LAW, records of people on commissions, connections, staff, historical records, and connections to our government, media, Mayor initiated secret behind closed door sessions with council (every week! under the guise always of possible litigation)

      should be commended for asking these hard questions and expecting to have answers from the employees of the citizens……..our government which by law is expected to be open government……and by the way, I have attended many, many Council meetings……We are not the sidelines, Mr Page, we are the people that elect and pay our government employees to be fair, ethical and to never break or skirt the law and follow the Constitution……The citizens of Edmonds did not just fall off of the turnip truck…..and ethical questions alone are obvious……..people that have lost their licences regarding ethics, people that break and skirt the law …we know, the citizens……this isnt about “rocks” from the sidelines…….We have Federal laws regarding this and we are a nation of laws and thats what keeps us civilized

      • Ms. Ryder:

        Undoubtedly it is admirable that you do so much extensive research on very important topics, but the opportunity for it to affect actions by our CITY are diminished when you do not use that research to effectively communicate with our elected officials and city staff. Posting it on this website helps to better acquaint the citizens who read it, but it does little or nothing to sway the powers that be. The most effective way to communicate with them is to use the opportunities available at weekly city council meetings; that you have not done.

        My research has revealed that during all of 2014 you did not make any comments when those were taken, nor did you ever speak during the many times that public hearings were held – even during the several times that comments were taken on the proposed changes to Sunset Avenue. There is no guarantee that speaking at a city council meeting will achieve the desired results, but it gives you a better chance than not speaking at all.

  14. And thanks to My Edmonds News for providing a forum to “bitch from the sidelines” for those that have lives that don’t allow attendance or participation in the tedium of bureaucracy that is state and local politics in Washington. We’ll continue to work out here in the trenches for the tax money that funds these projects, and we’ll continue to throw rocks…deal with it…

  15. Darrol, the wheelchair cuts you saw are not ADA compliant, anywhere in the USA. I learned this from talking with staff @ the WA State Dept of Transportation, and from reading federal guidelines noting requirements. It took the State staff a nanosecond to say ‘not compliant’ for the intersection of 216th and 73rd. A reading of the federal requirements (i.e., easy to use, seen by all), probably most communities fail, including Edmonds. However, new, compliant bright yellow curbs are seen especially along 5th Avenue. where the traffic is not as dangerous as in this part of town. Today’s’ larger wheelchairs just don’t work @ this location (216th/73rd). Seniors, the disabled and others are at risk daily, and will be, until they get ‘their turn’ in being provided a safe neighborhood crossing.

  16. I’m pretty sure, but not positive, that new construction would require ADA compliance, and that there is no requirement for our public works department to overhaul all of the existing ramps.

    • These ramps were compliant when installed. Same as for other around town. Yes working with new construction does require an upgrade to new type. Really strange rule for example: If you do a cut and fill for new blacktop that “touch” the sidewalk then you much replace the cuts. Some cities to save costs do the cut and fill new blacktop and leave the last few inch next to the sidewalk untouched so as not to trigger the upgrade.

      if we want to do upgrades then are we willing to develop a funding source? This years budget already cuts into reserves and the forecast is for more of the same. We need more revenue for the city to do more work or we need to stop doing something else to create the funding.

  17. yes, lets not take care of our most vulnerable …….first
    …….people in wheelchairs, children, etc……..and by areas such as hospitals where just about everybody going there sans the workers are vulnerable people in some way….isnt this what we pay our taxes (at all levels of government including up to the Federal money we pay

    civilized nations take CARE of their most vulnerable…….first

    I encourage all citizens to vote for those that put the citizens first, safety first…..
    Edmonds is a small town of 39,000….In 10 years I believe the population has grown by 400.
    For those that cannot make it to City Council meetings they can be watched at the City of Edmonds online site……I think it is called ed t.v…….Our City Council is only as good as the information given to them by the Mayor’s chosen staff….I encourage all to watch and listen
    also, listen to who asks the hard questions on council and how the answers come out by staff

  18. Mr. Wamboldt, I have spoken in person and by email with some City Council, Mayor, staff, etc.members many times…….on the phone, email, in person,…..Im sure you are well aware of this as you have been thick with our government and part of it for quite some time….. Last time my face showed up in photographs (why Im not in view of the camera at City Council meetings) somebody tried to run me over on the street. There were witnesses to this incident. I have spoken to many elected officials at the Municiple level and the Federal level. We don’ live in a vacume here in Edmonds……or any other place for that matter……This day and age it is very easy to contact people in our government all the way to the top. Again, we dont live in a vacume in Edmonds……and quite frankly, Im not sure why you think it is your business whether I stand in front of the camera or not, with all due respect….

    .you are totally wrong about the media not having anything to do with the democratic process…….that is clearer more now than it ever was……

  19. The point that both Mr Wamboldt and Ms Ryder are making ( from different perspectives) is that one can be involved in many ways. Emailing the Coucil members about issues is a legitimate involvement, attending Council meetings and speaking is another way to be involved, speaking with elected officials directly all work toward the same end. Voting is the biggest involvement. Everyone has different levels of interest, time availability and speaking abilities. The meetings are available to view on the City Website. Simply showing up for the meetings is only one form of involvement and no more important than the others.

  20. I think in all the grousing here the point is being lost that this is a state run project, not a city run one. Saying the work should have been done somewhere else instead is kind of nonsensical; the state isn’t going to install crosswalks anywhere in Edmonds that isn’t on their highway.

    Seeing as how that’s the case, the only real debate would be whether or not the crosswalk is a good idea. I think putting it in before somebody’s killed crossing 104 rather than after is an admirable decision, regardless of what sort of person was going to get killed walking across. (Should that really matter?)

  21. In general WA 104 is a pretty terrible place to walk. I live near Westgate Chapel and walk about a half a mile on the 104 sidewalks around there several times a week. Large trucks and cars towing boats regularly come within feet of me at 50 MPH, and although I only use the painted crosswalks to cross, about 1 in 5 times drivers who are turning left don’t look up from their phones and I have to play frogger.

    I would not feel comfortable trying to walk with my kids on this sidewalk, which is really sad since QFC and PCC are otherwise within walking distance.

    I know these things cost money, but it’s time to improve the walk-ability score of Hwy 104. There are a few simple fixes:

    1. Create a shoulder. This not only puts space between cars and sidewalk, it also provides a place for drivers to pull over in case of a flat tire or other problem.

    2. Pull the sidewalks away from the curb as they are doing on Hwy 99 in Shoreline.

    3. Slow Hwy 104 down. I know we all love getting to downtown Edmonds as fast as possible, but do we really need to go 45-50 MPH? This is an important trade off. Slow everyone down to 35 MPH. Besides, for many folks it doesn’t make a huge difference since they are there to catch the ferry and will have to spend an hour or more waiting anyway.

    I see many people who walk and bike along 104, including children waiting to catch their bus to school. It’s time to improve the walk-ability score of 104.

    • Excellent comments! My wife and I walk SR104 from 5th Ave, to Westgate once a week. The reduction in the speed limit to 35 MPH has accomplished nothing – virtually all vehicles are travelling 45 to 50 MPH as stated by Mr. Park. This will not change until there is enforcement by the State Police.


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