City of Champaign Installs First of Its Kind Pedestrian Signal in Fall 2009
The City of Champaign, as part of its ongoing efforts to provide for the safety of citizens and visitors, activated the community’s first HAWK (High-intensity Activated crossWalK) traffic and pedestrian signal at a marked mid-block crossing on Bradley Avenue between McKinley Avenue and Hedge Road near the Developmental Services Center and Kraft Corporation on December 15, 2009. This type of signal has been shown to be more effective in alerting motorists to stop for pedestrians in a marked crosswalk than the existing yellow flashers at this site.
Installation of the HAWK began in October, 2009. The work involved in this project included the removal of the existing pedestrian crossing flashers, the installation of underground wiring and traffic signal equipment, the construction of a median at the crosswalk, and reconstruction of the sidewalk ramps on both sides of Bradley Avenue.
What is a HAWK pedestrian signal?
The HAWK is a new type of signal which combines elements of traditional traffic and pedestrian signals, but in a different configuration. The HAWK signal has been used by the City of Tucson for about ten years to provide pedestrian crossings across arterial streets. The success of the HAWK in Tucson led to their use in additional jurisdictions and has prompted the Federal Highway Administration to include the HAWK in the next update to its Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
How a HAWK signal works
Why a HAWK at this location?
Bus stops located on both sides of Bradley Avenue at Developmental Services Center are highly utilized by patrons of DSC and area residents. This section of Bradley Avenue is perpetually on the list of streets with speeding problems with the majority of drivers regularly driving 10 or more miles per hour over the posted 35 mph speed limit. Over the years, the City of Champaign and Developmental Services Center have worked together to use all available tools for an uncontrolled pedestrian crossing to make it as safe as possible. The HAWK takes the next step for enhancing pedestrian safety by requiring vehicular traffic to stop.