HAWKs Spotted in Tempe!

As described in an earlier update, the City of Tempe has been wrapping up construction along the Western Canal. Part of the Canal development has included the installation of two HAWK signals, the first such signals in Tempe. HAWK stands for High-Intensity Activated CrossWalk, and is a style of road crossing developed in Tucson. See this page for information about HAWKs, as well as the other specialized crossings found in Tucson.

The two crossings in Tempe are located on Rural Road at the Western Canal, and on McClintock Drive at the canal. The City is providing a pamphlet that describes how the HAWK signals work, available through the Tempe In Motion website, and wants to spread the word as much as possible. If you have had experiences with either of these crossings and would like to share, feel free to leave comments here. We’d love to hear if these seem like an effective system for making canal crossings safer and more efficient, and if we should be encouraging more Phoenix-area municipalities to install them.

From a bicyclist or pedestrian standpoint, the crossings change to a “walk” signal within a few seconds of pressing the button, and are designed to force cars to slow down and stop whenever someone needs to cross the street. At other times, they allow cars to pass through freely.