Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons – Solving Pedestrian-Traffic Interactions

05 19 2017
Pedestrian/RRFB/HAWK Crossings
April Spears

Small towns have less vehicles, which generally means fewer traffic incidents compared to big cities. Yet these towns still have bodily injury accidents especially to pedestrians. Crossing the street can be even more dangerous in some areas because of fewer street lights. In fact, our local fire department’s ambulances are frequently called for ‘hit and run’ incidences. Neighborhoods with kids bicycling, families walking to and from parks, runners out for night exercise, all increase the likelihood of a pedestrian accident especially if they need to cross the street without the aid of a pedestrian crosswalk supported by flashing beacons. What’s worse is pedestrians in small towns can be more casual, less cautious.

Pedestrian hybrid beacons used in a HAWK crosswalk, can easily solve this problem for small towns or municipalities of any size! The triangular “hybrid beacon face” stops traffic when the red light turns ON or is flashing. No longer does your city need to install an expensive traffic signal at an intersection. Additionally, many crosswalks are more appropriately placed in the middle of the block, not allowing installation of red/yellow/green (RYG) signal. In smaller cities, a traffic light is harder to ‘warrant’ meaning justify due to the traffic formula indicating there’s not sufficient vehicles for a RYG signal. A HAWK crosswalk can be far less expensive than a standard intersection controller. Sometimes it’s more appropriate to use pedestrian hybrid beacons instead of a RYG signal head, which might increase congestion. The HAWK crosswalk is activated with a push button only when a pedestrian actually uses it.

A HAWK crossing is especially beneficial in towns with lots of tourists. Visitors are less likely to know which streets are more dangerous, and are more likely to try to cross the street unsafely. Pedestrian beacons significantly reduce the risk of an accident during the busiest times of the year.

Pedestrian hybrid beacons part of the HAWK Crosswalk (acronym for High-Intensity Activated CrossWalK) from ELTEC operates with conventional AC power when conveniently available. However, because these can also operate off solar power, installation is possible anywhere.

Talk with your public works department, traffic department or city council about installing a HAWK crossing in your town. It offers a powerful solution that provides additional safety and peace of mind for residents and visitors alike. Your city can be a shining example of how small towns protect pedestrians while effectively managing local traffic.