HAWK Signals at the Circle at Jetton and Griffith Active
On Monday, April 24, 2023, the Town of Davidson activated the new HAWK Signals at the Circles@30. In support of the town’s increased focus on pedestrian safety and the newly adopted Vision Zero initiative, these HAWK signals will help provide residents and visitors with safer crossing options at particularly busy intersections near the roundabouts and I-77.
While the signals on Griffith Street nearest to Davidson Day School and Milkbread, as well the Harris Teeter Gas Station and Two Harbour Place have been activated, the signals on Griffith Street near the Homewood Suites and Han-Dee Hugo’s BP are tentatively slated to be activated in early May.
What is a HAWK Signal?
A HAWK (High-Intensity Activated CrossWalK) signal is a device used to assist people with safely crossing busy streets.
HAWKs work the same as other button-activated traffic signals, either by pushing a button or an automatic sensor, which directs the person walking or biking to wait for the signal to change and traffic to stop allowing them to cross safely.
For a driver, the HAWK signal appears differently than other traffic lights. At rest, HAWKs remain dark. Once triggered, it will then go through a series of yellow and red sequences requiring motorists to slow down and stop. After the people walking and biking cross, the HAWK will go dark again, allowing motorists to continue through the intersection.
How do they work?
We know HAWK signals may seem a bit confusing at first, but they work easily! As a pedestrian, you still wait to see a walk signal before crossing the street, and there will still be a countdown letting you know by when you should finish your crossing.
For drivers and cyclists, you’ll see a yellow light indicating you should slow down because a pedestrian is waiting to cross or a red light indicating you need to stop because a pedestrian is crossing.
Check out this video from our friends at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to see a HAWK Signal in action.
Where will Davidson have HAWK Signals?
HAWK signals will be located near the roundabouts at Circles@30. They include:
- Griffith Street and Jetton Street (near Davidson Day School) – ACTIVE
- Griffith Street and Harbor Place Drive (between the Harris Teeter Gas Station and Two Harbour Place) – ACTIVE
- Griffith Street and Davidson Gateway/Harbour Place Drive (between the Davidson Clinic and Homewood Suites)
- Griffith Street and Davidson Gateway/Harbour Place Drive (between the RushCo Gas Station and One Harbour Place)
Why are HAWK Signals helpful?
HAWK signals provide safer crossing alternatives for people walking and biking than traditional crosswalks, especially in mid-block locations with heavy demand. Because the devices are only activated when walkers or bikers are present, people driving only experience minimal delays. HAWK signals can also be installed at the intersection of an arterial road with smaller side streets, which would not otherwise warrant a traffic light signalized crossing.
All of this amounts to easier crossings on busy streets for people walking and biking. Data also suggests that HAWK signals create safer crossings, reduce crashes and increase driver compliance with crosswalk laws.
What other projects and/or pedestrian safety efforts are underway?
To learn more about other town projects happening in Davidson, check out the town’s website at www.townofdavidson.org/