At Connecticut and Northampton, the days of flag-waving pedestrians are over. In their place is a new signal that stops traffic so they can cross more safely.
It’s called a HAWK signal, and Mayor Vincent Gray tried it out on Tuesday. Naturally, the press was there to capture the moment.
- ABC7 found Chevy Chase residents who are thrilled with the new signal. Watch the video to see how it works.
- NBC4’s piece about “mixed reviews” can only find one confused user, but everyone else seems to like it. This one also has a video.
- Chevy Chase, Md. isn’t confused. According to the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Patch, its residents are envious of Chevy Chase, DC’s new signal.
DDOT has a handy brochure that explains how HAWK crossing signals work for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists: Download the PDF file by clicking here.
DDOT also says:
— It’s good to remember that for the pedestrian, it is the same experience as any button activated signal in DC. You face a DON’T WALK signal and you push the button and wait. For drivers, it is a somewhat new sequence of familiar and standard signal indications. DDOT is working on a video to help with understanding.
–This type of signal/beacon is approved for use in the Federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and to be approved it was studied extensively for any problems with its operation and safety. The most exhaustive study by FHWA found it reduced pedestrian crashes by 69%.
–DDOT completed a study on the pilot HAWK location at Georgia Ave and Hemlock St NW, which involved many hours of observation of pedestrian and driver behavior. A presentation that DDOT Pedestrian Coordinator George Branyan gave based on that study is available for download here.