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.