A HAWK (High-Intensity Activated cross WalK) signal, also known as a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon, is a signal-beacon designed to help pedestrians safely cross busy streets.
While different in appearance for motorists, for the pedestrian, this signal works like other push-button activated traffic signals in the District by stopping traffic with a red signal, allowing pedestrians to cross with a WALK signal. At certain locations, the signal can automatically detect the presence of pedestrians waiting to cross and will activate the signal.
HAWK signals can be installed on streets with regular traffic signals as part of the District’s coordinated signal system.
DDOT plans to install more HAWK signals across the District to improve street crossing safety for pedestrians.
YouTube - View Mayor Gray Announces "HAWK" Pedestrian Signal, 04/30/13
DDOT places a high priority on pedestrian safety and is focusing efforts on un-signalized crosswalks on high volume roadways. These crossings often do not meet engineering standards for installing a conventional traffic signal; therefore, DDOT uses other treatments.
District law requires motorists to legally stop and give the right of way to pedestrians within crosswalks. However, DDOT research has shown that on busy, high traffic roadways, only about 1 in 4 drivers are willing to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk. If appropriate warrants are met, a HAWK signal can be installed on such roadways.
Accessibility for the Disabled
HAWK signals in the District usually feature Accessible Pedestrian Signal (APS) equipment that provide disabled pedestrians with information about the signal. An audible message and vibrating arrow button announce when the WALK signal is on.
Side Street Traffic
If a side street is present at a HAWK signal, it will continue to be controlled by a stop sign.
If you have any questions about the HAWK signal or any traffic control device in the District, please contact the following:
District Department of Transportation
55 M Street, SE, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20003
Phone: (202) 673-6813
Transportation TV’s News In Design for July 2013: The HAWK Crosswalk
In the July edition of News in Design takes a look at the HAWK or High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk. A growing number of transportation departments are installing HAWK—including the District of Columbia DOT (DDOT). George Branyan, pedestrian program coordinator for the DDOT explains how the HAWK works and why it's being deployed in the Nation's Capital. Also in this edition learn about a Federal Highway Administration Study which examined how well HAWK works to prevent car and pedestrian collisions. Watch the video at www.TransportationTV.org .
To improve street crossing safety for pedestrians.