Holmes Avenue HAWK Pedestrian Crossing
The City of Huntsville, in cooperation with UAH, has installed a new HAWK (High-intensity Activated crossWalK) signal in front of the new Charger Union Building. A HAWK system traffic lights do not activate until the system is activated by a pedestrian. Activation by a pedestrian triggers the warning flashing yellow lights for oncoming vehicle traffic. After a fixed amount of time, the traffic light changes to a solid yellow to alert drivers to prepare to stop. The HAWK signal will then display a dual solid red light to drivers and a walking person symbol to pedestrians. Near the end of the walk phase, the traffic signal switches to an alternating flashing red light. Pedestrians are then shown an upraised hand symbol with a countdown display informing them of the time left to cross. When the alternating flashing red lights begin, drivers may proceed after coming to a full stop and making sure that there are no pedestrians in their lane of travel. Each vehicle is legally required to come to a full stop and allow any pedestrians in to crosswalk to exit their lane of travel before proceeding during the alternating flashing red phase.
HAWK Crossing Safety
Be sure to activate the HAWK signal before crossing Holmes Avenue between Charger Union and the Salmon Library. Operators of vehicles might not be familiar with the new crosswalk and HAWK signal. For your safety, cross Holmes Avenue only after the signal visually and audibly signals you to do so. Also make sure all vehicles have stopped before you enter the crosswalk. Remember that once the "do not walk" hand begins flashing vehicles may proceed after stopping if their traffic lane is clear of pedestrians.
The view of drivers traveling east on Holmes and approaching the crosswalk could be limited because of the curve, the trees on the right side, the new building and even weather conditions. Please be aware of the difficult circumstances for drivers when you are crossing Holmes Avenue. Only enter the road at the approved crosswalk after you have received an audible and visual signal for pedestrians allowing you to cross the road, and after you have visibly seenvehicles have indeed stopped at the crosswalk.
On average, a pedestrian is injured in a traffic collision every eight minutes nationwide. Most pedestrian injuries occur as the result of the inattentiveness of motorists and/or the failure of pedestrians to use crosswalks. Additionally, the failure of both pedestrians and motorists to obey traffic signals can cause a pedestrian to be struck by a vehicle. By taking basic precautions, obeying all pedestrian and traffic regulations, and being aware of one’s surroundings, the likelihood of a pedestrian being struck can be significantly reduced.
Safety Tips For Pedestrians
As a pedestrian, it is your responsibility to make yourself visible and avoid dangerous behavior and situations. When possible, utilize the sidewalk; if not available, you should walk against the flow of traffic. Always obey crossing signals, but make sure to look both ways before crossing into the street. Even if you believe you have the right of way, it is important to realize that vehicles may not always stop. Make eye contact with drivers and pay attention to the environment around you. If you are wearing headphones or talking on your cell phone while crossing the street, it is important to pay attention to your surroundings and take extra care to avoid dangerous situations.