A new hybrid street crossing signal is operating on Chicago Avenue at Harvey Avenue to improve safety for both pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the heavily traveled roadway.
The high-intensity activated crosswalk beacon, or HAWK, was installed earlier this month and gives Chicago Avenue motorists a red light when activated by a pedestrian button or electronic detection of a bicycle attempting to cross at Harvey. In addition to the red signal for motorists, walk indicators are displayed for crossing pedestrians and bicyclists. The signal heads facing traffic on Chicago Avenue remain dark until the signal is activated.
Officials say this type of dedicated crossing signal, among the most advanced on the market, likely is a first in the Chicago area, although it is fairly common in states like California, Oregon and Washington where protecting pedestrians and bicyclists has long been a top priority in traffic management strategies.
Community response to the new approach to crossing signals, and a study of its effectiveness, could lead to similar applications at other high-traffic crossings in the community.
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