Pedestrian ‘Hybrid’ beacons to be installed in Pinedale
by Wyoming Department of Transportation
July 12, 2011
A new type of traffic device, called a HAWK pedestrian beacon, will soon be installed at two locations on US 191, Pine Street, in Pinedale to help pedestrians cross the highway safely. The installation is the first of its kind in Wyoming.
The beacons will be installed at the existing locations of Tyler Avenue and Pine Street as well as Lake Avenue and Pine Street, replacing the current single flashing yellow beacons at these locations. ‘HAWK’ is an acronym for High intensity Activated crossWalK. These signals have been used safely and successfully in a number of cities across the country for the past several years.
The HAWK system looks a bit different from other pedestrian signals, but brings a higher rate of compliance on stopping traffic so pedestrians can cross much more safely. The HAWK signal is an important safety tool because it includes a RED signal and early studies have shown up to 97% driver compliance, which is a better compliance rate by drivers than other devices at pedestrian crossings.
The HAWK pedestrian crossing system is technically a "beacon" in that it remains dark over the traffic lanes unless a pedestrian pushes the crossing button. When a pedestrian presses the button, drivers will see a FLASHING YELLOW for three seconds, indicating that they should reduce their speed and be prepared to stop for a pedestrian in the crosswalk.
The FLASHING YELLOW is followed by a SOLID YELLOW for another three seconds and then by a solid RED, requiring traffic to STOP at the stop bar. After the solid red, the pedestrian will get a WALK signal for five seconds and a countdown head will show the remaining time to cross the street. At the end of the WALK signal, the pedestrian sees a FLASHING DON’T WALK signal for 20 seconds and the motorist sees an SOLID RED light through the entire pedestrian crossing period (25 seconds.) that lasts a couple of seconds before going dark again, completing the pedestrian crossing cycle and traffic flow continues as normal.
Installation of the HAWK system is expected to take place during the last half of July and is expected to take a day or two to complete. During the installation, one lane of traffic will be closed for safety reasons.
Drivers should make every road construction zone a ‘No Cell Phone Zone.’ Motorists should dedicate their full attention to the roadway and avoid changing radio stations, using cell phones or other electronic devices while approaching and driving in a work zone, and always buckle up for safety. When motorists are alert, observe signs, maintain the posted speed limit, and pay attention to the traffic patterns; the safety of everyone is enhanced.