December 11, 2015
The City of Johns Creek on Friday, Dec. 11, activated its first HAWK pedestrian-crossing signal (High-intensity Activated crossWalK) on Barnwell Road near Barnwell Elementary School to give children a place to cross to get to school.
HAWK signals are push-button signals placed in mid-block instead of at intersections. Georgia law requires motorists to stop at any crosswalk to allow pedestrians to cross, but the HAWK signal provides balance between the needs of pedestrians and those of motorists. HAWK signals are gaining popularity in Georgia, they have been installed near the Suwanee town green and on Buford Highway in DeKalb County, and have been used successfully in Arizona, Oregon, Missouri, and other states.
The signals, usually mounted in pairs, are dark until activated by a pedestrian pushing a button, triggering a series of signals.
1. After the button is pushed, the yellow light flashes on and off, warning drivers to slow down. The red hand tells pedestrians not to walk.
2. Then, the flashing yellow light turns solid yellow, warning drivers to prepare to stop. Pedestrians should continue to wait.
3. The red lights turn solid, requiring vehicles to stop. Pedestrians will see their light go from a red hand to a walking man, indicating it's legal to cross.
4. The two traffic lights flash red, indicating that drivers can proceed when the pedestrians have cleared the intersection. Pedestrians will see the flashing red hand and a numerical countdown to clear the road.
5. The HAWK signal goes dormant until activated again, and a solid red hand is again displayed for pedestrians.