In order to try to improve safety as people walk and ride bicycles, the city of Phoenix’s Street Transportation Department has reprogrammed its HAWK pedestrian signals.
The city announced recently the signals will minimize the amount of time people spend waiting to cross streets at the HAWK signals. HAWKs are traffic signals that permit people to travel across the roads safely and run in a yellow-red-flashing red sequence to show drivers there are people who need to walk across the streets. All HAWKs will be reset to decrease wait delays by up to 50-percent. Some HAWK signals had a 60 to 90-second delay between each time they were activated. Now the gap between the time they are activated is only 30 to 40 seconds at most locations.
Fewer vehicles are on the roads so decreasing wait times for pedestrians walking or riding bikes will discourage anyone from crossing the road without a signal, Phoenix City Councilmember Thelda Williams said. She is chairwoman of the Transportation, Infrastructure and Innovation Subcommittee.
HAWKs that are programmed to work in conjunction with nearby traffic signals will still operate in a coordinated fashion but wait times also have been improved in these spots.
Phoenix has 65 HAWK signals that have been updated in recent weeks. To find a HAWK location, visit phoenix.gov/streets/hawk.