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Pedestrian Safety

Holmes Avenue HAWK Pedestrian Crossing

The City of Huntsville operates a HAWK (High-intensity Activated crossWalK) signal at the pedestrian crosswalk on Holmes Avenue just north of the Charger Union Building.  The HAWK system is an added safety feature for the crosswalk and will only activate after a pedestrian on either side of Holmes Ave pushes the system start button. 

The HAWK system will begin with a series of flashing yellow lights that serve to warn vehicle operators who are approaching the crosswalk from either direction to prepare to come to a complete stop. After a short period of time, the lights will change to steady solid red. Vehicle operators must come to a complete stop and remain stopped during this period.  The pedestrian “Cross/Don’t Cross” indicators on both sides of the street will signal pedestrians visually and audibly that it is safe to enter the cross walk and proceed across the street.  After a reasonable period of time, the steady red lights will begin to alternately flash on and off.  Pedestrians may continue to cross if they are within the crosswalk, but should complete the crossing before the time elapses.  

During the period when the red lights are flashing, vehicle operators who are stopped at the cross walk may proceed only after making certain that there are no pedestrians within or about to enter the crosswalk.  If no pedestrians are present, a vehicle operator may proceed while the alternate flashing red lights are activated.

HAWK Crossing Safety

HAWK-1Be 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 the crosswalk is clear of pedestrians.

HAWK-2The 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 Charger Union 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 allowing pedestrians to cross the road, and only after you have visibly verified that vehicles have indeed stopped at the crosswalk signal.


Pedestrian Safety

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.    

Bicyclists in Crosswalks

Bicyclists must follow the rules of the road, Alabama Code Title 32, Section 5A, Article 12. A bicyclist may not ride in a pedestrian crosswalk. A cyclist must dismount the bike and walk while crossing a pedestrian crosswalk. A person riding a bicycle is not considered a pedestrian.